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Louie Stowell's 'The Dragon in the Library' was a huge amount of fun and one I shared with my students to encourage their reading and appreciation of books. Its sequel, 'The Monster in the Lake', is just as much fun - an adventure swamped with humour, and magic, and with lakes full of weird and wonderful creatures. Stowell has a wizard's gift for making her stories easy to read and funny for both children and adults, while remaining pacy and exciting too. 


Kit's magic keeps going wrong, even though her skills as a young wizard appear to be improving. But when dogs start talking at the local park and a strange creature arrives, Kit and her friends must investigate. And their adventure will take them to places much further than the park and the library. Will Kit be able to tame her magic and save the day?


The first thing I love about this series is the central trio of characters. With just enough information about them, and with David Ortu's brilliant illustrations,  Kit, Alita and Josh really come alive on the page. And children are sure to recognise themselves in at least one of these characters. Stowell and Ortu also bring all the magical creatures to life with great humour and mischief. I loved the grumpy mermaids, the sinister rats and Lissie (the less famous Loch monster from Scotland). There is so much playfulness in the story too, and a lot of surprising moments, which are sure to keep even the most reluctant readers engaged. One moment that stands out is when the trio travel through an 8-bit digital world - again marvellously illustrated. There is never a dull moment!

As with Nosy Crow's 'Clifftopper' series by Fleur Hitchcock, this 'magic and monsters' series by Louie Stowell is one I will continue to recommend to children who need a pacy, riveting and joyous story to get them into reading. It's also great fun for adults too!

My review of 'The Dragon in the Library' HERE.