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Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh
  

Carbonel

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June 2014 Guest Editor Freya North on Carbonel...

I read this as a child and lost myself in it utterly. It was one of the first occasions when I truly experienced how books can provide the reader with the pleasure of a parallel universe. I really did ‘live’ this book. Written in 1955 it's still a terrific read. A wonderful, exhilarating adventure story about a young girl who goes on an errand for her mother but comes home with a witch's broomstick and a fabulously aloof black cat. Carbonel is a royal cat bound by spell placed on him by a cranky retired witch. Rosemary and her chum spend the summer tracking down the hat, the cauldron and the book of spells to free Carbonel. I loved reading it to my spellbound children. This book is a big part of my family.

Synopsis

Carbonel by Barbara Sleigh

This is the story of a cat, a broomstick and an ordinary schoolgirl called Rosemary. She bought them both in the market, quite cheaply. Of course, neither the cat nor the broomstick were just what they seemed, and they turned up just when Rosemary badly needed something nice to happen to her. A good cat is apt to be independent, so she did not have things all her own way, and as Carbonel proved to be a Royal cat in a very special sense, that was understandable. Between the cat and the broomstick, Rosemary picked up some useful spells and magic, and the adventures they brought about turned a dull-looking holiday into one long to be remembered for its unexpected excitements and rewards.

Reviews

A delightful fantasy of real literary merit. When Rosemary acquired a black cat and an old broom, she thought she had a pet and a means of earning money for widowed mother. But Carbonel was magic, and at his behest she set out to acquire a witch's hat, pot and spell to disenchant him. How she does this will enthrall children. A must for all libraries. -Library Journal The children are lively, the grown-ups (including the witch) colorful and the mingling of magic and reality is most effective. -New York Times A delightfully amusing story. -Parents Magazine It's a highly diverting fantasy, told exactly as though it all could happen. -Chicago Tribune We do like good fantasy, and it is hard to find. Here is some magic sturdily rooted in everyday happenings with both the real children and their enchanted acquaintances well characterized and sharing in some very convincing experiences. -New York Herald Tribune A truly bewitching story reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland,

-New York Journal American A highly entertaining fantasy. -San Francisco Chronicle Magic and everyday life blend smoothly in this highly enjoyable fantasy, perfect for reading aloud. -Terri Schmitz, Horn Book


About the Author

Barbara Sleigh was born in 1906 in Warwickshire. She took an art teacher's training course, and later began to write stories for children for radio. She was a lecturer at Goldsmiths' Teacher Training College, then in 1933 joined the staff of BBC Children's Hour. Three yars later she married David Davis, who later became Head of Children's Hour. Her first children's book, Carbonel, which was to become the first of a trilogy, was published in 1955 and has remained a firm favourite with younger readers.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th August 2005

Author

Barbara Sleigh

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Publisher

Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
240 pages
Interest Age: From 7

Categories

Editor's Choice
eBook Favourites
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General fiction (Children's / Teenage)

ISBN

9780141319735

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