Title: Muck & Magic
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Olivia Lomenech Gill
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s fiction
Book format: Hardback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  Bonny has always wanted to be a top cyclist, maybe even an Olyppic champion liker her hero, Laura Trott.  But her world opens up further when she meets Lizzie, a farm owner and sculptor.  Bonny is given a job on the farm and is invited to pose as the rider for Lizzie’s horse sculpture – a magical experience.
As Bonny starts to believe both in herself and in a different dream, she comes to understand the power of her new friend’s advice: a true gift is never to be wasted.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a lovely story about friendship and following your dreams. Bonny loves cycling and wants to be just like her hero Laura Trott. Everyday she cycles and is encouraged by her parents who want her to succeed and become an olympic cyclist too. But one day, on one of her rides by herself through country roads, Bonny has a minor accident which makes her notice the horses in a nearby field, which she can’t help but want to see again and again from that day on.

Muck and Magic book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

‘Muck and Magic’ is a hardback book, around A5 in size, with an outer dust jacket. The book is filled with thick glossy pages that are themselves filled with colourful illustrations and text. The story continues with Bonny meeting and eventually befriending the owner of the horses. I don’t want to spoil the entire story but eventually Bonny ends up modelling for her new friend who is an artist and sculptor, but modelling for her new friend begins to spark a passion in Bonny for something other than cycling. The story is a simple one but lovely, with Bonny discovering a real passion and talent for something new, and the overall message of the book is a very positive one although there is a sad part towards the end.

Muck and Magic book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The illustrations are just beautiful. On many pages and double page spreads there are pictures that look like beautiful paintings and sketches. The images look like the ones on the front cover and in fact the sketches continue to the front and back covers of the book which can be seen under the dust jacket too. They are very different to the dust jacket image giving this book a really special feel when you take a good look at it. Every page with text also has some texture to the background, rather than the text appearing on a white background, thee pages all look like sort of slightly painted canvas. It just makes this book feel all the more special and reminds you of the focus on the art in the story.

Muck and Magic under the dust jacket image one
©The Strawberry Post

I like the way the story was inspired by a real life person which is explained by the author. I think children will enjoy this story, in fact I think many adults will too! It’s a simple tale but one that really does remind you about following your talents and dreams. It also has a lovely addition of the horses which continues throughout the whole book.

Muck and Magic under the dust jacket image two
©The Strawberry Post

What do you think of this book?  Do you have any talents or hobbies that you love?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂