Mold and the Poison Plot
written by Lorraine Gregory
with illustrations by Tom Mead
Published by Oxford University Press Spring 2017
201 pages in paperback
He’s got a big heart
. . . and a nose to match!
Summary from OUP website
Mold is a most unlikely hero, but with courage and heart even bigger than his enormous nose, he sets out to save his beloved guardian, Aggy, who has been wrongly-accused of poisoning the King. As Mold fights to clear Aggy’s name, he meets deadly monsters like the Yurg, but he also finds true friendship in the most unusual – and smelly – of places.
Extract and blurb from author’s own website
“I aint no hero but ye won’t meet no one better fer sniffing out danger.”
When Mold’s mum dumped him in the dustbin as a baby, even the bin men didn’t want him! Luckily Old Aggy found him and took him under her wing.
But now Mold’s life has been turned upside down because the toffs from the palace have arrested Aggy, accusing her of poisoning the King.
It’s Mold’s turn to come to the rescue…
In a world of enemies and monsters, how can one small boy, with one enormous nose, ever expect to succeed?
What Mold needs is a friend. And luckily he finds one in the most unlikely- and smelly- of places…
This is my fellow Golden Egg Academy member Lorraine Gregory’s début novel. I will admit I always feel nervous when I’m sent a friend’s book: will I like it, will it be good, will it be in their own voice?
It’s a triple, large, hooting ‘Yes!’ to Mold and the Poison Plot.
For reviews, it’s not so important whether I like it (though I absolutely do) but whether the readership will. Well – if you like adventure, yukkiness, humour and friendship, this might suit. If you want a brave character who is decidedly not a handsome prince, plenty of danger and twists in the tale – all in a fantasy world you can not just see but smell – then this will tick all those boxes.
Written in Mold’s own unmistakeable voice, the story opens out from his life with Aggy to a grand finale involving pretty much the whole of Pellegarno. There are unexpected allies, plots and betrayals, sorrow and gick along the way. Such a glorious range of characters to enjoy as well – I think many playgrounds and parks will echo to kids acting out dramas set in this exciting new world. I do hope there will be other adventures to follow.
The smashing illustrations (including a fab map) by Tom Mead add to the fun. They convey a sense of the complex plot and all those smells marvellously.
[ On a side note, I’d like to praise OUP for sticking with Mold’s dialect – and for citing the illustrator’s name on the cover and press release. The latter makes it so much easier for us reviewers to give credit where it’s due.]
In short, Mold is a humble hero with one heck of a hooter – and I think you’re going to love him.