When Alma offered to send me Alistair Grim’s Odditorium by Gregory Funaro for review I was initially sceptical. Why would I read a book for 8 year olds?
|Alistair Grim's Odditorium - £5.59 - Alma Books|
Well I would because it is fantastically fun and exciting story. I would because I fell in love with the world of Grubb, Alistair Grim and all the Odditoria. I would because the illustrations by Chris Mould are simply superb.
We start our story by being introduced to Grubb (“with two bs”) and discover with him the secret world of Odditoria. Odditoria for the uninitiated are magical oddities from around the world. Grubb starts off as a chimney sweep in rural Victorian England. He lives with his harsh Victorian master Mr Smears after being delivered to him and his wife by the Yellow Fairy – or so Mrs Smears tells him.
As Grubb escapes and visits Victorian London he finds both the Odditorium and London to be full of magic and wonder. At this point the adventure truly begins as we meet Nigel, Mrs Pinch, Cleona and the titular Alistair Grim, a fascinating man full of mysterious secrets. As Grubb is pulled ever deeper into the world of the Odditorium so are we and we get to see the truly wondrous things Odditoria that lie within and without its black painted walls.
As a child I would have loved this. I was a big fan of Brian Jacques Redwall series as a 10 year old and battles and magic in this reminded me a bit of that style. It would also suit a child in love with the world of magic and mystery. As a warning there are some brutal battles but I think they are not too brutal for the suggested 8-12 age range. I found them scary, but I also found My Neighbour Totoro scary. So use that as your guide!
Alistair Grim’s Odditorium is published in the UK by Alma Books who sent me this copy for review. All views are however my own and I shall almost certainly be buying the sequel with my own money!