A truly delightful adventure story based around two sisters who like many siblings enjoy taking revenge on each other. The adventure begins when Matilda takes a battered copper penny belonging to her sister Iris and hides it out of site in the Lilac Hedge at the bottom of the garden. After feeling very guilty of her crime Matilda goes back to the hedge to collect the coin only to find the coin gone. The hedge is something more than first thought.
On entering the hedge the mystery unfolds as the Lilac hedge reveals wonderful and mystical creatures such as; talking mice, fairies, imps, pixie’s, trolls, toads, trees with powers and wicked queens. Secret pathways lead the girls though different tunnels of darkness and mud. Matilda’s adventures reveal that she is a Princess of the Lilac Hedge and on her hand an image of a Lilac flower appears that supports her true identity.
Matilda and Iris discover that their Nanny,Butlerand Gardner all have a secret connection with the hedge and together they rectify past evil forces, so that the lands inside the hedge can be peaceful and happy places. At the end of the story Iris and Matilda rekindle their deep love for each other through their heroic displays of bravery towards the Wicked Queen, toad and Mugwart Grey. This aspect of the story could be very useful in the classroom in discussing morals and family values.
The book continues to engage throughout, adding interesting twists and turns to engage young readers. Each chapter is short and filled with new challenges for the sisters.
The short chapters are particularly useful for classroom related activities. Thus would make an interesting class novel for grade two to four. The short chapters also provide a short reading time for children reading before sleeping.
The language used throughout the text is reasonably demanding with words such as obediently, hesitated, desperately, appalled, and may therefore be read individually by students aged ten to thirteen. The book would appeal to girls who enjoy Narnia and the Faraway Tree as the intrigue and suspense is similar to these well known books.
I highly recommend this book for parents and grandparents who enjoy reading to their children at night it provides opportunities for drawing imaginary pictures of characters as there are few illustrations throughout the book. It is also a wonderful verbal display of a narrative text type thus identification of text elements are easily identified and could be used as a useful tool for teachers.
With colourful characters and interesting twists throughout it’s a wonderful book well worth reading and sharing with your family and friends. I hope you enjoy the pleasure I had reading this book.