Last year I wrote a review for Thumble Tumble and the Ollpheist written by A. H. Proctor. It was a fantastic witch based, mythical adventure story. I’m back now, with the sequel Thumble Tumble and the Cauldron of Undry again written by A.H. Proctor, but now with additional illustrations by P.S. Brooks.
The first book in this fantasy series a fun, adventure filled and fast paced read, which I enjoyed very much, so was keen to give the sequel a read and I was not disappointed.
Thumble Tumble and the Cauldron of Undry follows the story of little witch Thumble Tumble on her quest to get to the mysterious Holy Isle and release the power that lies within the enchanted cauldron of Undry. All the while being chased and impeded by the Night Witches, led by Mogred.
The thing I loved most about the first book in this to be 8 part series, were the vast array of interesting characters, and the sequel steps this up another notch. Bringing back the feelings of old traditional folk tales, this story is jam packed with quirky characters, such as McCools a three legged haggis and the unexpectedly strong Buttercup a flower nymph. The interactions between all the characters in this story is artfully done, as every one adds value to the tale, the moving along of the plot and, well, they just bring a little smile.
Even some of the bad guys in this tale will make you chuckle such is the writing power of A.H. Proctor, so the feel is generally lighthearted and fun, but still holding onto that sense of excitement and jeopardy, all of which children enjoy!
The fantastically atmospheric Scottish backdrop adds to that traditional, folklore feel reinforcing all that is great about this series of books. They have a strong sense of identity, which sucks you into their World, the perfect kind of escapism.
Thumble Tumble and the Cauldron of Undry, is fast paced, so that there is always some action happening in every chapter. There’s little chance of children getting bored with slow moving, long descriptive or boring chapters. Each one moves the story along at great speed, with a lovely sense of adventure, magic and excitement.
Now. I do like an illustration or two in a book. I’m sad that this generally vanishes from adult fiction (other than graphic novels) actually. And certainly children’s books, even for older readers, can benefit hugely from a few little images here and there. P.S. Brooks is a wonderful illustrator, and his work here adds another level of character to this, already, personality filled book. Inside the book, the many varied characters are beautifully exampled by Patrick within the book as little black and white line drawings, which work really well, and allow the readers to visualise some of the unusual creatures in the story. They also break up the text very nicely.
The front cover, by Ed Norton, continues a similar, grand theme as the first in the series, showing the maze and Thumble Tumble in a lovely atmospheric manor.
Thumble Tumble and the Cauldron of Undry is a folklore, fantasy filled adventure story which will delight and enchant all witch and traditional tale fans!
And this won’t be the last in this great series of books. There are 6 more due for release, so watch this space for more.
To find out more about the author A.H. Proctor you can check out her mystical corner of the internet here:
And P.S. Brooks, the illustrator with the magical pencil wielding power, can be found right here:
Thank you for reading this rather witchy Book Monster review!