This is another discovery from the Hatchards Children’s Department. As so often, I was seduced by the pretty jacket. Midnight at Moonstone, written by Lara Flecker and illustrated by Trisha Krauss, is a very beautiful book. The pages are edged with lace, the expressions on the faces of the costumes on the front cover give you an idea of what is to come and the flaps (it is a posh paperback) are lovely. In every way the story lives up to one’s expectations.
Kit has a world-famous father and an older brother and sister who are both high achievers. In a family of talented people she seems . . . ordinary. When she fails to get into the school her father is set on she takes matters into her own hands and goes to stay with her grandfather at Moonstone. The curmudgeonly old man is anything but welcoming, his mind occupied by the impending closure of his costume museum. This is the point at which Kit, and the costumes, come to life. The story manages to be both hilarious and nail-biting with rivalries between the costumes and the ever-present threat of a particularly unpleasant developer.
Lara Flecker trained as a costume maker and the book even has a section at the end where the costumes are described. Inspired by costumes in museums around the world, it is fascinating and my only (very minor) quibble with the book is that I wish I’d know it was there at the beginning.
Lara Flecker, Midnight at Moonstone is available in paperback, £6.99. As always please order or buy it from your local bookshop. You’d miss it if it closed.