The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt is a super exciting, occasionally digusting (BOGEY EATING! EURGH!), heavily illustrated tale of derring-do on the high seas. And it’s quite unlike any other pirate book out there.
Starting with Mabel’s kidnap by a gnarled old pirate Loris (I told you it was unusual, or maybe ‘unlikely’) the story concerns the adventures of a pirate ship manned by crazy animals. The plot goes places you’d never expect – including a spot of time-travel – and that’s what makes it so appealing.
A big mention must go to Ross Collins, who’s done a terrific job of bringing all the animal shipmates of The Feroshus Maggot to life. And the design is equally great, with words blown up big and bouncing around the page like the characters themselves.
I love this type of book, for this age of reader. It’s the sort of book that can stand up and compete against computer games and cartoons, and for that reason alone we should be celebrating it. And the great news is that the sequel, Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City is now available too!
If you like this, try Hamish and the Neverpeople, by Danny Wallace and Jamie Littler.
Published by Puffin. RRP £6.99