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Helen Cooper Review

A joy, truly wonderful.

Helen bewitched my children with her sumptuous illustrated work, always vibrant and always quirky and always worth many revisits, just like a good museum.

One day Ben Makepeace receives a mysterious invitation, delivered by bees, to visit by special request a long forgotten Victorian museum which no one really knows about and no one knows if it's even still open. From its mysterious and creepy opening with long dead stuffed rare animals and malevolent property developers and modern museum owners this story just draws you in. Lavishly illustrated with perfect finesse of detail and nuance by Helen, one sort of craves her palette of colour too.

We are fed history with just enough subtlety to allow more inquisitive readers scope to question things, slowly the magic comes, it si wild magic and uncontrollable and wraps the museum in a mist that is like candyfloss, what an apt description.

The pace rises and things now and in the past happen, sadness and disbelief, but also menace and mystery. Pitched firmly at the reader of adventures and magic that is believed, once you can accept it, with nods to many classics in such a clever way, this book is a real gem.

With a karmic chameleon and maybe a fabled watercow lurking in the displays, this mystery unfolds as the peril rises. Helen makes brilliant use of Ben's sad mum and throws shapes of social comment at the reader without it being a lesson. 

I highly recommend this book, get the Hardback because it deserves to be treasured, like a curate's egg but one that will hatch in your head.

Worthy of prizes, but best just read and adored. 10/10