The Young Lit Fix

Murray and Bun (1), Murray the Viking
By Ben Stower
Published by Harper Collins. £6.99 paperback
Reviewed by Nicky Mathewson

Murray is a cat, an ordinary cat. He likes ordinary cat things like sleeping and eating.
Fumblethumb is a wizard, not an ordinary wizard because he is not very wizardy at all, in fact his magic is awful and goes wrong more than it goes right.

Bun is a bun, sticky and delicious with a cherry on top, but thanks to Fumblethumb’s magic, Bun is now a rabbit, still sticky and very bouncy with a cherry for a tail.

All Murray wants is a simple life free of magic and full of peace and quiet, but unfortunately, Fumblethumb has enchanted the cat flap, so now each time Murray slips through it he has no idea where he will end up! On this particular morning, the kitchen is full of pink smoke and Fumblethumb is running around with his hat on fire, so Murray and Bun make a quick exit through the enchanted cat flap. Unfortunately they have not landed in the back garden but find themselves in a huge wooden hall surrounded by Vikings of various sizes and hairiness.

The largest and hairiest Viking appears to have mistaken Murray and Bun for Troll hunters and demands for them to help on an enormous troll hunt and to find their missing friend Eggrik. The tiny fluffy and sticky duo have no choice but to armour up and embark on a crazy adventure. Will they find any trolls? Will they find Eggrik? Most importantly, will they find their way back home?

This is the start of a brand new series and it is terrific! Instantly engaging and full to the brim with illustrations. Funny and exciting, it is the perfect way to help new readers gain confidence to read independently. Perfect for ages 6 and up.