THE MALONEYS’ MAGICAL WEATHERBOX by Nigel Quinlan

Moontrug has always believed phone boxes are magical so she was very excited to learn that children’s author, Nigel Quinlan, thinks so too – so much so that he decided to write a book about one…

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Neil and Liz Maloney’s dad is a Weatherman – but not the boring kind you see on TV. He’s the person who makes sure the seasons change every year. This year, though, the Autumn hasn’t arrived and the weather is spiralling out of control. Can Neil and Liz stop the chaos before it’s literally the end of the world?

 

Moontrug loved the imaginative scope of the book, the idea that weather is controlled by Weathermen, Weathermages and Shieldsmen, that rain can be multi-coloured and hail can be golfball sized – and if the seasons are disturbed, stalled or even stolen, the repercussions are huge… Neil and Liz are fabulous lead characters and Moontrug especially liked super feisty Liz with her bow and arrow: ‘I’m a Shieldsman and the man at the end is just short for woman‘ and ‘I had my bow in my hand, arrows in my belt, war paint on my face and crow feathers in my hair.’

 

Quinlan’s narrative voice is brilliantly original and he offers the reader some fantastic comedy in tourist, Ed: ‘Nobody hurt too badly, I hope? Nobody…turned into anything? Er…or…eaten?’ His life motto had Moontrug chuckling: ‘Keep the diesel topped up, and walk your dragon at least once a day or he’ll burn your whole rig, trailer and all’ and the fact that he remembers to carry a permit for his sword is awesome.

 

Quinlan mixes old Irish magic – hags and bogbeasts which, when ridden, feel like ‘riding a bag of angry stoats’ – with a contemporary twist: Celtic ninja warriors and Lady Gaga’s greatest hits. And at the heart of the plot are some truly mean villains: bully Hugh who conducts terrifying orchestras of new seasons – and outwardly beautiful, inwardly awful Mrs Fitzgerald. ‘The Maloneys’ Magical Weatherbox’ is a fabulously quirky and imaginative story for 8+ years infused with wit and Irish magic.