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Buttercup's charming friendship build-me-up; Children's Book.

Byline: Jayne Howarth

Buttercup Magic: A Mystery for Megan Abi Burlingham (Piccadilly, pounds 5.99) When Megan moves to a rickety old place called Buttercup House with her mum and dad, she is thrilled to see she has a huge bedroom - painted yellow, her favourite colour - and best of all, a treehouse in the massive garden.

The move is tinged with a little sadness, because she knows she will miss her best friends Emily and Beth, but she quickly makes friends with Freya, the girl who lives next door.

In no time at all, the two girls are inseparable - and Freya soon tells Megan about the some strange goings-on at Buttercup House, where her granny lived as a girl. Not only is there a cat called Dorothy, there is a dog called Buttercup, whose appearance leads to buttercups appearing in the garden, and some mice who live there - all of whom seem to want to look after any children who reside there.

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Megan has seen Dorothy, but how is this possible, she wonders? The animals must be very, very old, for they were last seen when Freya's granny was a little girl. And there is another thing quite odd about the story: only children can see them - no grownups have ever seen them.

It's a big mystery and one that granny doesn't know how to explain.

But a dusty old book in the library has some surprising answers ...

Burlingham - author of the lovely Ruby and Grub picture books - has created a very sweet and gentle book that is squarely aimed at girls of about six to nine years.

Readers will identify with the main characters - they are ordinary little girls, just like them - and while the story might be light on action, it deals with the central theme of these animal protectors in a way that young readers will find very appealing.

Readers will also recognise that it is a story about friendship. It is quite magical and utterly charming and I'm sure little girls will love.

Jayne Howarth
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 26, 2012
Words:340
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