A timeless story celebrating friendship and imagination, from an exciting new voice in children's literature.
Mabel lives with her parents in The Mermaid Hotel, by the sea. Mabel likes to keep an eye on the comings and goings of all the guests. Then one day a particularly in-ter-est-ing old lady comes to stay. There is something very suspicious about her, with her growly voice and her heavy trunks and her beady-eyed tortoise. And why does no one know her REAL name? There can only be one answer, Mabel decides ... this guest is a SUPERVILLAIN. But even supervillains have a soft side, and as an unlikely friendship grows between the pair, their fantastical exploits take them well beyond the corridors of their seaside home.
About the Author
- Sophie Dahl is an internationally bestselling novelist, cookery writer and columnist, and this warm, sparky, gently playful story is her very first foray into children's books.
- Lauren O'Hara's soft, warm palette never fails to entice children into the pages of her books, and this beautifully produced jacketed gift hardback perfectly showcases her sumptuous illustrations.
- Timeless storytelling reminiscent of classics such as Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline stories and Kay Thompson's Eloise.
Sophie Dahl began her working life as a teenage fashion model, but books and words were her first love. In 2003 she wrote Sunday Times
bestseller The Man with the Dancing Eyes
, an illustrated novella, which she followed in 2007 with her first novel, Playing with the Grown-ups.
A devoted home-cook, Dahl has written two cookery books, From Season to Season
and Sunday Times
bestseller Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights
, in addition to writing and presenting two BBC prime time shows about food. She is a contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveller
and was a long-time contributing editor at British Vogue
, and she has written non-fiction essays for US Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Observer, Guardian
and The Times.
Sophie lives in the countryside with her husband, daughters, rescue dog, cat and tortoise. Madame Badobedah
is her first book for children.
About the Illustration
Lauren O’Hara is an illustrator from the north of England. As a child she loved reading fairy tales, painting insects and listening to her grandmother’s stories. She studied art and illustration at Kingston University and then designed window displays and props for films. Lauren’s career as an illustrator began when she and her sister, Natalia worked together on a picture book, Hortense and the Shadow.
This was published in 2017 and followed in 2018 by The Bandit Queen.
Lauren lives in a converted church in Dublin, Ireland with her partner, their cat Ida and assorted ghosts.
Vividly illustrated, this is a witty and gently moving debut.
The Daily Mail
"A tale of fantastical exploits and an unlikely friendship, with stylish, whimsical art."
The Bookseller, Children's Previews
"[...] as charming as you'd hope with stylish, whimsical art from rising star O'Hara."
The Bookseller Buyers' Guide
... plenty of charm....
**** Four stars -- Emily Bearn The Daily Telegraph
...this quirky, imaginative story is a delight... Vividly illustrated, this is a witty and gently moving debut.
The Daily Mail