I’ve been reading some dull stuff recently and I needed a break. I needed some FUN! I needed some MAGIC! I needed some EXCITEMENT! And I got it all in THE SECRET MOUNTAIN by Tom Percival. Phew! What a relief…

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THE SECRET MOUNTAIN is the fifth book in Tom Percival’s LITTLE LEGENDS series. It follows the adventures of a group of fairy-tale characters that all live together as neighbours and friends in one magical fairy-tale region called Tale Town.

All the books in this series are very eye-catching and Book Biscuit for one gets a big thrill out of lining his up. Yep, I agree Biscuit, they do make a pretty awesome collection…

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We love the characters posing and the super vibrant, slightly acid colours; we think they will really appeal to younger kids who are graduating from picture books and looking to read something with playground ‘cred.’ If that’s such a thing, I’m way too old to actually know…

In SECRET MOUNTAIN, book five in the series, Jack (Jack in the Beanstalk), Anansi (from African folklore) and Red (Little Red Riding Hood) discover that the devious, plotting mayor of Tale Town has captured and imprisoned a troll child called Quartz and they quickly devise a plan to set him free. With the help of some of their other fairytale friends, they soon deliver Quartz back to his secret mountain home… but getting him there turns out to be just the start of their adventure and soon the children discover that everything they thought they knew about trolls has been a a lie!

The children set off to let the people of Tale Town know the truth only to discover that that nasty Mayor Fitch has even more rotten tricks up his sleeve and is planning to make the lives of the trolls – and our little legends’ friends – very difficult indeed. But don’t worry young readers! Remember Quartz? Well he’s got some pretty cool magic up his sleeve…

For children who may need extra encouragement to pick up a book, these stories are great. They’re short enough to achieve whilst still having loads going on—fun, light-hearted humour and magic, some really nice values to take from them plus they’re jammed full of lively pictures.

We really like the variety of characters too, providing a chance for lots of different children to find someone they can really relate to within the story and we all know how important that is… And on that note, what is extra especially nice about LITTLE LEGENDS is that they don’t follow the usual fairy tale pattern of princesses in towers waiting around for princes to save the day because ALL of the characters have skills—girls, boys, wolves, talking hens—they all get to shine and save the day, together. Awww…

BOOK BISCUITS BEST BITS

The LITTLE LEGENDS series makes Book Biscuit gasp and giggle and the illustrations are always a delight. Here are Book Biscuit’s best bits, in order;

  1. Marshmallow mountain (OBVS!)
  2. The Gorillas when they dress up as trolls to save Quartz. (And the fact they’ll do anything for a banana! Well who wouldn’t…)
  3. Tom Percival’s illustrations. Biscuit gets a real thrill out of the black pages!! It took him a bit longer to get through THE SECRET MOUNTAIN than it should have because he wanted to pore over the pictures each time we turned a page. And there is a picture on almost EVERY page! So yes, the pictures may have slowed us down a bit but seeing his little biscuit-y face light up at the next brilliant illustration was worth it.

 

OTHER INTERESTING THINGS

The second thing that got our attention when we first discovered this series was the LITTLE LEGENDS RACE DAY app that you can download for free. We LOVE free stuff! And it’s a great little distraction when you’re stuck in a waiting room or if you are needing to hook a reluctant reader into the idea of a getting into reading a book.

EVEN MORE INTERESTING THINGS

We got a bit stuck knowing which book comes when, though the latest ones now have numbers on the spine, but incase you’re wondering, here are the books so far, in order:

(1) THE SPELL THIEF

(2) THE GREAT TROLL RESCUE

(3) THE GENIE’S CURSE

(4) THE MAGIC LOOKING GLASS

(5) THE SECRET MOUNTAIN

(6) This one isn’t out yet, but I’m willing to bet the first word in the title will be ‘THE’