Though there are gaps in the plot large enough to swim through, this story, pun included, made for a good family read aloud. Several archetypal elements are in place here – the mysterious and absent father, the child as outsider, the ‘friend’ of the family who is not as he seems – and the story moves along well enough. Kessler has to invent the rules of this world, so there is perhaps a trifle too much exposition, but that’s forgivable. The illustrations by Sarah Gibb are great.

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