Hugo Pepper

Publisher: Random House

Review

Hugo Pepper is the tale of a young foundling raised by reindeer herders in the Frozen North. Several years later, on discovering his real parents were eaten by polar bears, Hugo sets out on a magical mechanical sleigh in search of his true home. Little does he know but his exploits will set off a train of events that will eventually bring to justice his hometown's malicious tormentor as well as the discovery of a hidden treasure.

Paul Stewart's imaginative text along with Chris Riddell's elaborate illustrations populate Hugo's hometown of Harbour Heights with a marvellous range of fantastical inhabitants who befriend the young hero. These include the mermaid sisters, Daisy and Lily Neptune; the tea-blenders Freda and Diego Camomile with a brew to match your every mood; and Meena Dalle, the local weaver who makes flying carpets from the wool of the cloud sheep of the Randoo Kush. Throw into the mix, the beautiful pirate Brimstone Kate, story collector Wilfred McPherson, a mysterious lamplighter, as well as hundreds of tiny snowmen with giant three-toed feet and you have here a cast of characters bound to fire up the imagination of the youngest of readers.

But all is not well in Harbour Heights as embittered local editor Elliot de Mille and his accomplice Cressida Claw seek misplaced revenge on the townsfolk through the use of salacious rumour and vindictive gossip contained in his quarterly magazine. However, with the help of his new-found friends, Hugo comes to the rescue in this the third book in Stewart and Riddell's award-winning Far Flung Adventure Series.

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