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Kingfisher, Rupert: Madame Pamplemousse and the Enchanted Sweet Shop.

Kingfisher, Rupert

Madame Pamplemousse and the Enchanted Sweet Shop

Illustrated by Sue Hellard

Bloomsbury, 2010, pp162, 7.99 [pounds sterling]

978 1 4088 0505 3


Madeleine, a gifted young chef, is having problems at school. She is being bullied by a new girl called Mirabelle. Madeleine is too ashamed to tell her friend, Madame Pamplemousse. However, it seems that help comes in the form of a sweet shop owner called Madame Bonbon. Madame Bonbon gives Madeleine some sweets that have a most unusual effect. At first, they make her feel better and able to deal with Mirabelle. But very quickly they start to draw her into a strange and frightening world presided over by a haunting crescent-faced figure. Madeleine gradually realizes that Madame Bonbon is not her friend but is using her to seek revenge on Madame Pamplemousse. Madeleine knows she must escape from Madame Bonbon and warn Madame Pamplemousse.

Madame Pamplemousse and the Enchanted Sweet Shop is third book in the series following the adventures of Madeleine and Madame Pamplemousse's. It is a very sophisticated book that works on several levels. On one level, it creates a strong feeling of enchantment, but on another level it is extremely topical showing children how to stand up to bullies.

The story is extremely redolent both of Paris and of fairy tales. The author combines them very cleverly. Indeed, it is reminiscent of the magical realism of Angela Carter, in the way that it combines the everyday activities of a child at school with the frightening and sometimes nightmarish qualities of fairy tales. Finally, the beautiful illustrations capture the French feel of the story. They are perfectly in keeping with the text, and are evocative of certain early- to mid-twentieth century classics such as Ballet Shoes.

Andrea Rayner

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Author:Rayner, Andrea
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2010
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