Impossible Creatures by Katherine Rundell

Our Rating
Author: Katherine Rundell

Category: Children's

Book Format: Paperback / softback

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's Books

ISBN: 9781408897409

RRP: $18.99


Christopher has travelled from London to visit his grandfather in a remote area of Scotland. He’s waiting at the ferry terminal to be picked up. While he sits a squirrel comes along and perches near him. It jumps from the toe of his show to his knee. His whiskers quivering with curiosity. Soon Christopher has several squirrels around him. His friends often joke about how animals are attracted to him. When he arrives at his grandfather’s home he is sternly told never to go to the top of the hill.

In. another world, Mal lives with her great-aunt Leonor. Mal has a great coat that enables her fly. She also has a baby Griffin, a very rare animal indeed. All is happy until a man turns up who wants to murder her. Who is he? Terrified, she flees with the griffin inside her coat.

When Christopher hears a noise at the top of the hill, he knows, regardless of being told not to go, that he must investigate. As he nears the top of the hill the ground begins to shake and suddenly a huge green horse covered in shining scales runs towards him. What follows was a stampede of fantastical creatures. After the stampede has passed he sprints to the top of the hill. Something is in the lake flailing.

Without a thought Christopher went in to save it. It sank, he dove after it. Up to the surface they both spluttered. In his hands was a baby griffin.

The world that Christopher lives in is very different from Mals. But he is intrinsically linked to hers and they both have a role to play to save both their worlds. They will face hardships, danger and thrills as they fight for the survival of all the fantastical creatures.

Katherine Rundell has the most wonderful imagination. Her inner child simply beams from the pages of this book. Your imagination conjures up the creatures from the story and you can’t help but be caught up in the adventures, cheering on both Mal and Christopher.

Reviewed by Jane Stephens


Teachers’ Resource


Katherine Rundell authorKatherine Rundell grew up in London, Zimbabwe and Belgium. Her books for children include Rooftoppers, The Wolf Wilder, The Explorer, One Christmas Wish and The Good Thieves. She has also written a book for adults Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old And Wise and Impossible Creatures.

Her work has been translated into 30 languages and has won, among others, the Costa Children’s Book Award, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award in America, the Andersen Prize in Italy and Le Prix Sorcières in France.

In 2016 she wrote a play, ‘Life According to Saki’, which won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh award and transferred to New York.

She worked on a short film about a tortoise, ‘Henry’, for Oculus Rift, which went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Original Interactive Programme. She has been selected as one of the Aarhus39 – 39 of the leading children’s writers from across Europe – and one of the Hay30 ‘writers and thinkers’.

In her spare time she is learning, extremely slowly, to fly a small aeroplane, and goes climbing across the rooftops old buildings, secretly, late at night.

Follow Katherine Rundell on Instagram

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