Thanks for Telling Me, Emily
by Deirdre Madden (Author)
Madden’s second book for young readers is another story of unusual characters in a small town. Emily is the owner of a local pet shop, and is joined by her niece Keira for the summer. Keira and the reader are introduced to all the characters of the pet shop: Mulvey, the wise cat, Bubbles, the excitable hamster, and Milly, Tilly, Billy and Willy, the white mice. The secret lives of the pet shop inhabitants provide much of the humour and the adventure of the story, while the human characters are concerned with growing relationships. Finbar, the love-struck delivery man, who can never quite concentrate when he is due to visit Emily’s shop, is really appealing.
As with Snake’s Elbows, Madden’s Bisto awardwinning first novel, there is a delicious villain, this time in the shape of Mrs Henrietta Fyshhe Pye. She is determined to find some suitable pets for her new castle, and three attempts all end in complete disaster. Luckily, however, Mrs Fyshhe Pye’s son Ryan is a lot more reasonable.
Madden’s talents enable her to make a very imaginative and fantastic tale, full of character and humour. The story veers between the real and the highly imaginative with ease, and is full of genuinely loopy plot twists and events. There is a considerable amount of repetition too, which will appeal to more emerging readers. A great, fun read for those aged 7 and up.