The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Adventures of Alfie Onion
Publisher: Walker Books
Once upon a time, a little girl fell in love with fairytales. She was convinced that if she had the seventh son of a seventh son, he would be a true hero - and she'd be destined for a life of Glorious Luxury.
In fact, it's her eighth son, the unlikely Alfie Onion, who has the hero-worthy qualities to secure a Happily Every After for the whole family.
There is lots to like in Vivian French's take on the fairytale. It's pitched perfectly for confident young readers, with some fun Disney-style animal subplots and an uplifting ending that rewards even the foolish Magnifico, the seventh son.
Alfie's story is both sweet and satisfying - and cute illustrations, attractive page layouts and fairly short chapters make it a smart choice for slightly older reluctant readers, too. A bit Shrek, a bit Disney, and a lot of fun!