Kwik Review: Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Laura Ellen Anderson)

Kwik Reads

Goodreads Link | Author Website

This is the book I wish had been around back when I taught primary kids.

TL;DR – A gross and funny tale of vampires, yetis and obnoxious princes, with sublime illustrations.

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RAGDOLL RATING: 5/5 BUTTONS (Fang-tastsic)

What I thought…

I read this book because of the cover art. I adore the art style. It’s so cute and fun. I wanted to see if the story was as good as the art. (It is).

It’s time for the annual Barbaric Ball, and Amelia is dreading it. Prince Tangine, an insufferable little twerp, has just started at Amelia’s school and Amelia is stuck showing him around. The prince is selfish and spoiled, and his father, the King gives him anything he asks for. When the King and Prince Tangine visit Amelia’s home, the prince starts demanding their property, first a statute, then a valuable heirloom chair. The King grants these requests much to Amelia’s fury – but the the prince demands Amelia’s pet pumpkin, Squashy! Amelia and her friends hatch a plan to rescue Squashy from the Prince during the Barbaric Ball, but in the process Amelia learns a terrible secret!

This book is charming, and super gross. It’s the kind of book I would love to have read to my classes when I was a teaching assistant, because oh boy would they have loved it.

The world is turned on it’s head. Amelia is a vampire, her friends are ‘monsters’, Grimaldi is a young Grim Reaper, Florence is a rare breed of yeti – they are creatures of the Dark. As such, their worldview is different. Calling someone a lovely little armpit hair could be a compliment, glitter is terrifying. It’s a small thing that makes the world fun and believable, but also opens the gates for all manner of gross ideas, from compliments to food.

The story is simple, but engaging. The characters are wonderful – and there is a particularly nice 2-page spread introducing them all. But the my favourite thing about this book is that every page has some form of illustration.  Sometimes a whole page worth. The illustrations are absolutely adorable. I think having read this book, that Laura Ellen Anderson is probably now my favourite illustrator, and that is absolutely not an exaggeration.

I’m 28 years old, and I really enjoyed this book. It was funny and gross and weird and silly. It was heartwarming, and sad, it made me angry and it made me smile. It is exactly the sort of thing I wish I could write, and I recommend it to anyone.

Give this to the weird kid in your life. (Reviewers note: All kids are weird, give this book to all of them.)

Please note: I am in no way affiliated with the author or publishers. I bought this book with my own money for my own reasons. The opinions contained within are my own and have not been influenced by any external entity!

One thought on “Kwik Review: Amelia Fang and the Barbaric Ball (Laura Ellen Anderson)

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