You just know from the cover that this book is going to be fun and magical in the best possible way.
With her burnt orange hair, pale silvery skin and her two fox ears, twelve-year-old Yesterday Crumb has lived a torrid existence. Abandoned as a baby, she works for a ruthless circus master and his travelling circus where she is locked in a cage as a freak for the amusement of paying circus-goers. It is is the only life she has ever known but everything is about to change.
Rescued by Madrigal - a talking not-raven - Yesterday learns that she is a strangling - a witch who has lost her magic and he knows just the place where she can rekindle her spark. But before arriving at Dwimmerly End she has made a deal with the dangerous Mr Weep and now has only a month to live unless she can break his terrible curse.
Miss Dumpling, head tea witch of Dwimmerly End, sniffs at such things, and firmly believes that nothing cannot be solved with a pot of tea and a slice of cake. But can Miss Dumpling and her teashop brew the magic needed to solve Yesterday’s problems or is her new life set to come crashing down…
Magic, mayhem and mystery burst from everywhere in Andy Sagar’s brilliant debut fantasy children’s book. Filled with lots of tea, lots of cake and lots of brilliant characters, this fabulously fun-filled and entertaining quest has certainly got me oo-long-ing for more.
Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup is a wonderfully quirky alternative to the traditional tales of witches, potion-brewing and magic. Like many stories of this ilk, we have a main protagonist who is yet to discover her true abilities but you won’t find any wands, broomsticks, cauldrons or cloaks in this journey of discovery and embracing who you truly are. Such things have been replaced with teapots, tea spirits and a wonderful teashop that travels around on flamingo legs.
For Yesterday, Dwimmerly End, with its unusual assortment of guests, is a place where she feels like she truly belongs and she’ll be damned if anyone, including demon of the dead Mr Weep is going to take it away from her. On her month long quest to save herself (and a what a frantic, fabulous and frightening month it is) there are lessons to learn, tests to overcome, friends to make, foes to defeat, terrifying truths to learn, cakes to eat and teas to brew. Faced with problem after problem, Yesterday and friends are going to need every ounce of tea-witchery they can muster.
Sagar has dreamt up the most wonderful of fantasy worlds of flying teashops, dangerous goblin markets, runaway trains, the Land of the Dead, the Museum of Entirely Unnatural History and a library ran by a dragon, I loved every single part of it. This brilliantly brewed world is infused with fantastic characters; Pascal the floating turtle teapot, Madrigal the moody and sarcastic not-raven, the flamboyant Miss Dumpling and kind-hearted Jack; this is a group of people that children will want to be questing with.
The ending of the first book wraps everything up nicely and a twist at the end sets things up perfectly for book two. Whilst waiting for Yesterday’s next adventure I’ll be baking Muffins of Merrymaking and mastering the brewing of a Chamomile of Confidence.
With huge thanks to Hachette Children’s for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.
Recommended for 8+.