Madame Badobedah
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Madame Badobedah

Sophie Dahl, Lauren O'Hara

A timeless story celebrating friendship and imagination, from an exciting new voice in children’s literature.  Mabel lives with her parents in The Mermaid Hotel, by the sea. Mabel likes to keep an eye on the comings and goings of all the guests.

Then one day a particularly in-ter-est-ing old lady comes to stay. There is something very suspicious about her, with her growly voice and her heavy trunks and her beady-eyed tortoise. And why does no one know her REAL name?

There can only be one answer, Mabel decides …this guest is a SUPERVILLAIN.


Mabel lives at The Mermaid Hotel, which her parents manage. She is an imaginative ‘adventurer’ who often goes down to the nearby sea, the same sea Madame Badobedah travelled across when she was a young woman to escape war. Now, Madame Badobedah is old, bossy and, naturally, a jewel thief (according to Mabel!).

Madame Badobedah arrives one day with an imperious manner, a lot of luggage, two dogs, two cats, a tortoise and a lot of jewels. So Mabel switches from adventurer to spy, of course!

This is a delicious story with a fanciful little girl who has a charming way of telling her tale, a lonely lady and an unlikely friendship that blossoms with shared fantasies, secrets respected and eccentricities admired. The illustrations are perfect and I loved every page of this longer form picture book. For ages 4–8.

Alexa Dretzke is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Hawthorn.

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