‘Freddie Mole Lion Tamer’ by Alexander McCall Smith with illustrations by Kate Hindley is a charming, wonderful tale which is sure to delight young readers. It tells the story of Freddie an ordinary boy whose family is so poor that he dreams of making money for them so that his Mum doesn’t have to work away from home. His Dad reassures him that he should never give up hope and that good things happen when you least expect them. One day the unexpected does happen and Freddie is asked to join the circus, not realising one of his jobs will be an understudy to some of the acts. Conquering his fears he decides to do his best and before he knows it he is flying through the air on a trapeze and thrilling audiences with his daring. But when Freddie is asked to replace the lion tamer’s assistant can he be brave enough to enter the lion’s cage and tame four lions reassuringly named Ripper, Growler, Roarer and Prowler?
I found this story to be utterly irresistibly entertaining and children will be swept away by the excitement of this sensational adventure. You can’t help being enchanted by Kate Hindley’s sublime illustrations which perfectly showcase the thrills and joy of the circus. She captures the love and warmth between the Mole family and her characterisation of the lions personalities is brilliant. It has a lovely vintage feel to the storytelling like a good old fashioned (in the very best of ways) tale which is enhanced by the beautiful production of the book. Perfect for newly confident readers this is a fantastic book which will leave you smiling.
Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending me a copy of this book to review.