Pages - 295
Published by Discover Kelpies in August 23rd 2012
My dad has hundreds of books. The walls of his study are covered in bookshelves, all the way up to the ceiling. He keeps books in unsteady towers all around, his computer, under his desk, on the window sills. Big books and small ones, ancient ones and brightly coloured ones.
Mischievous fairies? Stranded mermaids? Smelly troll? Whatever your supernatural dilemma, call the Really Weird Removals company! Luca and Valentina's uncle Alistair is a paranormal investigator. When he realises the children can see the supernatural creatures that share our world, he invites them to join his team. With the help of Camilla, a friendly ghost, the Really Weird Removals team save a real-life stranded Nessie, help a selkie come ashore, and befriend werewolves. But this exciting new world is also packed with danger. When confronted by malicious kelpies and hungry vampires, can their wayward uncle keep the children safe?
A year ago I had never heard of Daniela Sacerdoti, now fast forward to 2013 and she has become one of my favourite authors. She has published three very different books aimed at different age groups and I have loved all of them.
This is Daniela’s first children’s book which is aimed at the 9 to 12 age bracket. On first impressions I was convinced I had been transported to CBeebies’s Balamory. The island Eilean, where the story is set, sounds rather magical and just the type of place I would like to visit. Daniela is a very descriptive writer and has a wonderful knack of bringing every setting alive. The style of writing was very reminiscent of the childhood classics I grew up reading. Every chapter detailed with a hook on the end.
Luca and Valentine are brilliant characters; Valentina, a feisty younger sister with an unusual interest in dead sea creatures and Luca, the older brother, who is quieter and more thoughtful than his sister. These two lead a cast of quirky and original characters that will stay with me longer after finishing the book, all unusual but extremely believable. Uncle Alistair, loud and yet completely bonkers. Camilla, the friendly ghost of a young girl murdered centuries ago. All so well written and well thought out. My favourite character of all had to be Finley! I’m pretty sure you will love him too when you meet him.
The story is told over the period of a year through episodic events that occur surrounding the Really Weird Removals company which is the pest control answer for the supernatural world. We join them on their adventures to capture and remove unwanted unusual creatures. Each season brings new wonders to be discovered and removed. I thought that this book could easily be made into four smaller books that would suit younger children too, as each season is covered and adventures happen within each.
Each chapter begins with an entry from the Scottish Paranormal Database detailing a mysterious creature that had been discovered throughout history. I learnt about mythical creatures I had never ever heard of and I was left with a list of creatures to find out more about.
This next paragraph definitely has spoilers, so cover your eyes and scoot past if you haven’t read the book.
As the story progresses, Luca discovers that he is a sea whisperer; he can talk fluently with all the mythical sea creatures. Oh how I loved that idea! I want to be a sea whisperer too! I wish that talent really existed.
On the whole, I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a delightful read for the child hidden within. If you haven’t read a book by Daniela Sacerdoti, then you are sadly missing out.