Written by: Eric Orchard
Illustrated by: Eric Orchard
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Format: Softcover, 7 x 9, 96 pages, Full Color, $14.95
Reviewed by: Diamond BookShelf
A kid-friendly tale of adventure in a strange and wondrous land, Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch is a wildly entertaining journey.
As the book opens, the milieu is set: young Maddy Kettle sets out to find the Thimblewitch, who has turned her parents into rats, in the hopes of making her change them back. While her parents object to this plan as being too dangerous, Maddy soon finds herself forced to enact her plan when her parents and pet floating toad are kidnapped by the Thimblewitch's Spider Goblins. Maddy soon finds allies when she meets Harry and Silvio, a pair of argumentative cloud cartographers who happen to be a talking bear and raccoon, respectively. They offer to take Maddy with them in their moon gas-powered balloon to find the Thimblewitch, leading the trio on a quest which leads not only to danger, but twists and turns in which Maddy's aim wasn't quite what she thought it was.
Writer/artist Eric Orchard's tale is almost fable-like in its execution, taking readers through a magical world as if it were as natural as the real one. Maddy is a clever and determined protagonist, and her allies are equally memorable and unique. Orchard's art immerses the reader into this world, with stunning splash pages and a sense of design that is reminiscent (though not derivative) of Dave McKean. He presents a world that's fully realized, and finishing this graphic novel leaves the reader feeling there's far more to explore.
This may be by design, as the ending makes it clear this is the first volume in a series. Given the wonder and artistry of The Adventure of the Thimblewitch, Maddy Kettle is an adventurer whose exploits readers will want to see continue.
Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch is suggested for Kid (6+) readers who enjoy fantasy and adventure stories.