I am ashamed to say that this guest post by Ms G has been sat in my inbox since before Christmas. I apologise to both Ms G and to Janne at Black and White Publishing for the delay in posting this review.
Ms G is a wonderful lady and mummy to three who hosts two blogs - a UK family lifestyle blog, Goriami Family, and a lifestyle, music and parenting blog, Dancing in My Wellies.
First things first....what is Horace the Haggis and The Christmas Mystery about:
"Horace the haggis gets a terrible shock when he visits his friends on Christmas Eve. Every one of them has vanished. Worse, pinned to each house is a note with the single letter V - the personal sign of the most feared gangster in Acre Valley. What has happened to Martha, Ferdy, Dijon, Doc Leaf and Professor Nut?
Can Horace and Major Mole find them in time? And what if the dreaded Don Volio should discover our lovable hero in the Darkling Forest with only his hair-gel for a weapon? Let's hope the Boss doesn't get too ANGRY. Introducing the scariest, wildest, funniest family in Acre Valley, and a new friend for Martha Mouse. Watch out, too, for another danger lurking in the snow. Horace's two oldest enemies are back - and they badly want haggis for their Christmas dinner."
And now, what did Ms G and her son think:
My 6 year old son is a huge fan of books, and loves to read, so we were delighted to get the opportunity to review Horace the Haggis and The Christmas Mystery by Sally Magnusson. This is the third book in the series, and I have to firstly say that I think my son will love this book a little more once he has read the first two books! While the book doesn't require you to have read the first books, I think there would be a better association with the main character and the need to evade the farmer!
This is a great fun book following the great mystery of Horace's missing friends! Horace goes to visit his friends only to discover they're each missing from their homes, and instead there is a red "V" marking their homes! The mystery unravels as we discover the V is the mark of Don Volio, but what has he done with Horace's friends! The adventure resolves happily, and the story teaches that people can change if they want to, and perhaps we ought not jump to conclusions or think the worst of people. In fact Don Volio helps fend off the nasty farmer who is attempting to cook Horace for tea! The story ends with a big party for all the animal friends, and a sighting of Father Christmas!
The book is beautifully illustrated, and I have found myself sat looking at the illustrations repeatedly, each time smiling at the detail in each image, and both of my sons have been absolutely captivated by the illustrations.
The book is written in chapters, making it ideal for a young reader to manage to read alone. However the books is short enough it could be read to a child either in one sitting or over a few nights as a bed time story. Although it has a festive theme, Horace the Haggis and the Christmas Mystery could be enjoyed year round!