A Hen in the Wardrobe

By Wendy Meddour                            Frances Lincoln Children’s Books


“All’s well that ends well” in Wendy Meddour’s “A Hen in the Wardrobe”, a comical piece that will fill the hearts of both young and old.

The Author takes us through the life of Mr Ramadan, an Algerian Berber living in England. Due to his homesickness, he kept sleepwalking. Finding his father in this situation, Ramzi decides to help.

Going back home to Algeria is the possible solution, the doctor suggests.

The Ramadans embarks on this all important journey to solve Mr Ramadan’s ordeal. A great adventure as it turns out for Ramzi.

Back home in Algeria, the nightmare stops but Mr Ramadan is afraid to return to Cinnamon Grove should his sleepwalking continue.

Despite the wise old man’s therapy, the nightmare continues.

Left with only one option, Ramzi makes use of his souvenirs from his grandma and uncle to fulfil the prophesy of “Boulelli”(A spider that eats Children).

The Spider’s prophesy.

Dearest daughter,

Though I cannot forget the past, nor empty my mind of the future. One day, a boy will come to you. He will try to steal. But do not be afraid. In a time to come, he will be a source of great happiness. But first you must him tell him this: 

Only he can save his father from his nightmares. For it has been written, and it will come to pass.(Page 85)

When I first got this beautiful book, I was so excited and carried away by its cover. I wondered what the hen was doing in the wardrobe and how it got there? There was only one way to find out. Read it I concluded and so I began immediately. I found this book very funny from the beginning and laughed a lot, hoping my head would be intact by time I am through. It’s fun and laughter all the way from England to Algeria and back. Well, at the end of it all, my head is intact. However, a smile was left on my face to last for a long time. 

This is a fantastic book for pre teens 8-12 . However, I have absolutely no doubt that it will be enjoyed by Adults as well.

Wendy Meddour spent many years teaching English literature at Oxford University but took a break from academia to write and illustrate children’s books. She has published a variety of academic work in both journals and books (under the name Dr Wendy O’Shea-Meddour) and her specialist area is the ‘Construction of Muslims in Contemporary British Fiction’.

Her first series – Cinnamon Grove – centers on loveable, Muslim characters.  A Hen in the Wardrobe is the first in the series.  Watch out for Book 2, The Black Cat Detectives, due out in August 2012.




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