Wednesday, 4 December 2019

A Most Peculiar Toy Factory by Alex Bell December Book of the Month

The minute I received A Most Peculiar Toy Factory, I just knew I was going to fall in love with the story just as much as I hoped my children would too. From the best-selling author of The Polar Bear Explorers' Alex Bell, comes an enchanting tale of toys brought to life.

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Something has gone very wrong at Hoggle's Happy Toys. But five years after shutting its doors, the toy factory is opening again, and Tess Pipps has found herself a job there. As she and her siblings start their first day of work, they are about to discover what dark secrets are lurking inside the factory's walls...

Mystery and dark humour aplenty in this tale of toys brought to life from bestselling author Alex Bell.


Hoggle's Toy Factory has been hounded with rumours of creepy goings on, the children in the town of Cherryville often whispered about the awful things that they thought had happened (apparently the toys went mad) when the factory had finally shut its doors five years ago.

That is until Marmaduke J Hoggle comes along at re-opens it.

With talk of the building being haunted, there weren't many people willing to take up jobs at the factory, something made even more difficult when it was announced that Mr Hoggle would only be employing children - specifically those under the age of twelve - this instantly had me a little creeped out.

Protagonist Tess, braves the dangers that lurk in the factory in order to save her family farm, but could this feeling of bravery be mistaken for stupidity?

Combining Alex's talents, this eccentric tale is a brilliant combination of adventure and chills.


It doesn't take long as the reader to get the feeling that there's something sinister going on.

I love how Tess is portrayed. Strong, brave and determined. She makes for quite the role model and as the story progresses and the tension builds, this young girl does extremely well to over come her fears.

What makes this story truly chilling is Alex's use of description. He sets the scenes well with the use of both sight and sound. Alongside the black and white illustrations from Nan Lawson, young readers can easily imagine being in that toy factory themselves. They'll have to decide whether they would be/could be just as brave as Tess by stepping foot in such a place.

Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.


A Most Peculiar Toy Factory is deliciously dark and filled with terrific twists. It's fast paced and as the tension builds you find yourself turning the pages at a rapid rate.

You'll be surprised at just how much action has been packed into what I'd say is a short story!

Slightly magical and a tad wicked, this novella makes for the perfect tale if you are just introducing your child to the mystery/thriller genres. In my opinion it's dark enough to make you just the right amount of scared.

Wickedly fun mystery that will thrill any young reader.


I won't reveal the ending, it would spoil the story for you, all I can say is OMG.

Expect the unexpected in this very strange tale. Aimed at children aged eight and above, I feel that A Most Peculiar Toy Factory is a classic story in the making and I'm crossing my fingers and toes in the hopes that there will be a sequel written.

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