Reader Reviewed The Matchbox Mysteries by Sally Gardner

The Matchbox Mysteries

Written by Sally Gardner
Illustrated by David Roberts
Part of the The Fairy Detective Agency Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2014 - November 2014 Book of the Month Jam-packed tales full of hilarity, excitement and fun but this latest in the Wings and Co. series from Sally Gardner, winner of the Costa Book Award 2013, and acclaimed artist, David Roberts is even more mashed up than usual. It sounds like a case for Wings & Co, the famous fairy detective agency when a giant bunny, out of control broomstick and magically shrinking cars are causing chaos! So can the Wings and Co. detectives of Emily, Budget and Fidget put a stop to this magical mischief before it's too late? Perfect for all young readers looking for a thoroughly engaging read.

If you loved David Walliams's Gangsta Granny, you'll love these hilarious tales of mischief, mayhem, magic and mystery.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review the first title in the Wings and Co series, Operation Bunny.  You can read their reviews below.

  • Nadine Kelly , age 11, St. Colm’s High School, Draperstown, Northern Ireland - 'This story is really exciting.  It is beautifully illustrated and I loved the nice short chapters...I look forward to more stories by Sally Gardner, she is such a good author.' Read full review >
  • Erica Motoc, age 7 - 'The book is very good so I could not take my eyes of the words...I like the story because of its funniness. I think the author took a long time to write and out the work it out.' Read full review >
  • James Wood, age 7 - 'I've read some of Sally Gardner's other books, such as the boy with the lightning feet, and this one is really good too. It is a good and interesting story with some very funny bits.' Read full review >
  • Iris Pritchard-Williams, age 8 - 'I think the story was very exciting, I thought the writer of Operation Bunny had a good imagination because there was made up stuff, that was really amazing.' Read full review >
  • Raspberry, age 6 - 'I recommend this book to people who like magic and solving mysteries.' Read full review >
  • Grace Phelan, age 7 - 'An exciting book that makes you want to be a detective yourself when you grow up.' Read full review >
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 10 - 'Funny, magical and exciting, Operation Bunny is a great story that would appeal to all fans of the weird and wonderful!' Read full review >
  • Cait Galbraith, age 8 - 'A thrilling fairytale about fairies, bunnies and cats. I would highly recommend this book.' Read full review >
  • Amisha McCrystal, age 12  - St. Colm's High School - 'a magical book full of wonderful things, such as, bunnies, moving houses, fairies, large talking cats and a pair of mischievous keys...I would definitely read another Sally Gardner novel.' Read full review >
  • Alisha Boyce, age 10 - 'I like this book because it`s got my favourite animal in, BUNNYS and they are all pink which is my favourite Colour.  It`s a good and exciting book.' Read full review >
  • Caroline Randall (mum to Lauren)- 'silly language but an overly laborious story line that did not capture her attention.' Read full review >


The Matchbox Mysteries by Sally Gardner

It's Hallowe'en and Podgy Bottom is in trouble. All over town cars are being shrunk to the size of a matchbox in the blink of an eye; a giant purple bunny rabbit is running riot and a strange-looking broomstick is causing chaos and calamity...


Sally Gardner successfully combines magic and a touch of fairy tale with a contemporary feel in this charming adventure story. The story moves at a fast pace but for me the delightful characters are the most enjoyable aspect of the book. The quirky illustrations by David Roberts are very much a part of the success of this book fitting the style of the story perfectly and bringing the characters to life. The short chapters and the many illustrations ensure that the book will appeal to newly independent readers but the use of language, wit, catchphrases and world play mean that this story would work well read aloud too. Emily and her gang are great fun and this series deserves to be a success. -- Anne Thompson

Wonderfully imaginative, full of quirky humour and delightfully illustrated.

this is just as good as the first book. There's so much fun and silliness here and once again David Roberts illustrations are pitched perfectly. I think Sally Gardner has a real winner with this series. Younger readers will love it and parents won't mind reading it aloud either. Now, let's hope there's another one coming out soon. -- J E Towey

Absolutely charming

I'd forgotten about the keys with feet, which are important in this clever detective story where there are some fairies missing their wings, fairies whose identities are surprising. NAYU'S READING CORNER

This is a touching story that had me laughing out loud. I highly recommend this book, it is so much fun! Bookbabblers blog

One of the most charming and quirky series for young readers around -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller'

About the Author

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist from London. Her books have been translated into 22 languages and have sold more than one million copies in the UK.

Her historical novel for older readers, I, Coriander, won the Smarties Children's Book Prize in 2005. Two thrillers both set at the time of the French Revolution, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2009, followed. Actor Dominic West (The Wire) has bought the film rights to both titles.

Her YA novel, The Double Shadow, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim. Sally Gardner's stories for middle readers include Lucy Willow and the popular Magical Children series of six titles: The Strongest Girl in the World, The Invisible Boy, The Boy with Magic Numbers, The Smallest Girl in the World, The Boy with the Lightning Feet, and The Boy who could Fly, which are also available as audio books. She has also written and illustrated picture books including The Fairy Catalogue, The Glass Heart, The Book of Princesses and Playtime Rhymes. Sally Gardner continues to be an avid spokesperson for dyslexia, working to change the way it is perceived by society. She is dyslexic and argues that it is not a disability, but a gift.

If you'd love to know more about Sally, click here to download a more detailed biography and Q&A.

To see a video of Sally talking about her book Fairy Shopping - CLICK HERE

Or watch a video of her talking about The Silver Blade:

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Book Info


192 pages
Interest Age: From 6


Sally Gardner
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Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Publication date

23rd October 2014




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