Indigo Wilde and the Creatures at Jellybean Crescent by Pippa Curnick

Published by Hodder Children’s Books, an imprint of Hachette Children’s Group, 2021.

Every so often a book comes along that’s so exquisitely beautiful that it takes your breath away. Indigo Wilde is one of those books. It’s an early chapter book illustrated in full colour, and I’m talking brilliant technicolour here! The pages are an eye-popping riot of teal, neon pink and lime green.

Discovered in the Unknown Wilderness when she was just a baby, now-11-year-old Indigo Wilde was adopted by world-famous explorers, Philomena and Bertram Wilde. Her parents are always off adventuring, leaving Indigo and her little brother, Quigley, home alone. Home is 47 Jellybean Crescent, a crazy and colourful house full of magical creatures that her parents have taken in over the years. And now Indigo’s parents have sent another Monster Mail delivery to Indigo and Quigley. But this time the box is empty and the escaped creature is running rampage around the house. The race is on to catch the creature before it’s too late…

The book is huge amounts of fun with chaos and mayhem at every turn: a flooded bathroom, collapsing ceilings, and animals stampeding through the house in panic. And what magnificently imagined animals they are! They include Fishkins the grumpy high-maintenance purrmaid, Graham the llama-corn with a voracious appetite, and my personal favourites the glamingos – like flamingos only much more fabulous. Pippa Curnick really has let her imagination run wild and children are going to love what she’s dreamt up.

These fantastic creatures are brought even more vividly to life in Pippa’s wonderful illustrations. We’re really in for a treat with double-page spreads, page borders, explorer journals, and a glorious cross-section of the house. There’s so much life and energy in the pages!

The book also has important underlying themes of acceptance and inclusivity. Quigley was rescued from a dragon’s nest but he didn’t escape unscathed; he lost his hearing on account of the dragon’s roars. He and Indigo use sign language to communicate. The exotic magical creatures that live at 47 Jellybean Crescent were rescued by Philomena and Bertram from places where they didn’t fit in.

The house had become a place – a sanctuary of sorts – where they could belong, without being stared at or bullied for being different.

Page 16

This is the first book in a new series and I’m confident Indigo Wilde will find a legion of young fans!

Rating: 💙💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 5+

Thank you to Hachette Children’s Group for sending me this book to review.

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