The Blurb On The Back:
Mirabelle is special because she is different.
Mirabelle’s mum is a witch and her dad is a fairy and she LOVES getting up to magical mischief!
Mirabelle and her family are off on holiday and Mirabelle has promised to be on her very best behaviour. She really means it too …
The holiday is amazing – but when Mirabelle makes a new friend called Beatrix, she makes a worrying discovery – Beatrix is even more mischievous than Mirabelle!
With potions gone wrong, runaway dragons and food fights, will Mirabelle’s family believe that Mirabelle is (mostly) innocent this time, or is it just a case of double the trouble?
MIRABELLE IN DOUBLE TROUBLE was released in the United Kingdom on 3rd February 2022. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Mirabelle, her parents and her older brother Wilbur are off on holiday to a treehouse at an all-inclusive witch resort in the mountains. Mirabelle’s mum and dad want her to stay out of trouble and she’s promised that she’ll be good all holiday and even leave her potion kit at home (although maybe she doesn’t quite meet that last promise …)
Shortly after the family arrives at the resort, Mirabelle meets a young witch called Beatrix who is even more mischievous than her. It’s not long before Mirabelle starts to finds herself in trouble again but this time her mum and dad are really cross and refuse to believe her when she tries telling them that it’s not her fault. Can Mirabelle convince them that this time she’s (mostly) innocent or will this ruin the holiday for everyone?
The 4th in Harriet Muncaster’s MIRABELLE SERIES (a companion to her ISADORA MOON SERIES) for readers aged 5+ is an entertaining read packed with mischief as Mirabelle is forced to deal with the consequences of being thought of as a trouble maker. Mike Love’s illustrations (based on Muncaster’s original artwork) neatly complement the text and I enjoyed Mirabelle’s relationship with her older brother. I would definitely read on.
I hadn’t realised that Muncaster had created a companion series to the more ‘pink and cute’ ISADORA MOON SERIES until I read ISADORA MOON GETS THE MAGIC POX so when the opportunity came to review this book, I took it.
Mirabelle is Isadora’s naughtier cousin who is half witch/half fairy (her father is the brother of Isadora’s mum). I hadn’t read any of the previous 3 books in this series, but to be honest you don’t need to. There’s a section here where Mirabelle talks about some of her naughty antics and each story works as a standalone.
Muncaster has a lot of fun with the contrast between Mirabelle’s mum (who likes things like eating insects and is a bit of a speed demon in the car) and her dad (who likes honey and sweet things and drives ultra cautiously). I also enjoyed the dynamic between Mirabelle and Wilbur (who is not happy about having to share a room with her and is a bit pompous, like big brothers can sometimes be).
The story is pretty straightforward as Beatrix engages in a number of tricks, some of which are funny, some of which are dangerous but all of which see Mirabelle get the blame. I enjoyed the budding friendship between the pair, even as Mirabelle starts to realise that Beatrix is taking things too far and wants her to stop. Part of the reason I enjoy and rate Muncaster’s books is that there is a moral core to them – here it’s about being honest and open about things that you have done – but she’s never preachy about it, she just shows readers the consequences and takes them along with her. Also although Beatrix is naughty, she isn’t mean or malicious and sometimes she gets in trouble because she’s trying to help (albeit in the wrong way) and I think a lot of the target audience for this series will be able to relate to that.
Muncaster foregoes illustration duties here with Mike Love doing the same to her artwork. I thought the illustrations worked really well – there’s plenty of character in there (I especially liked the dragon trek and food fight scenes) and the purple shades work really well. This would be a great series to give to young girl readers who aren’t really into ‘pink books’ (and there is nothing wrong with liking pink books, just to make that point) but still want to read something with magic in them.
All in all, I thought that this is a fun and entertaining read and would definitely check out the other books in this series.