A clock of stars: The shadow moth by Francesca Gibbons
Illus.by Chris Riddell. HarperCollins, 2020. ISBN: 9780008355036.
(Young Adult / Children). Highly recommended. A brilliant new fantasy author has been found in Francesca Gibbons. Her debut novel A clock of stars: The shadow moth, aimed at older children and younger teens, is a fun and easy read. The story centres on sisters Imogen and Marie who follow a moth through a hidden doorway in a tree and end up in another world. Like Alice and her rabbit, Imogen and Marie find fun, adventure and peril in this alternate universe. In this world ruled by an evil king where conflict bubbles beneath the surface, the sisters meet lonely Prince Milo who agrees to help them find their way home if they will be his friends and help him restore peace to the realm.
What a coup for Gibbons to have secured Chris Riddell as her illustrator. A prolific and well-loved children's illustrator and author himself, Riddell's work has appeared in many books, including those by Neil Gaiman and J.K. Rowling. His signature style is apparent upon opening the book, immediately drawing the reader into Gibbons' fantasy world.
Although pitched at a juvenile audience, adults and older teens will also find themselves enthralled by the world-building, magic and wonderful illustrations. A little bit Alice in Wonderland, a little bit Narnia and very much its own, A clock of stars is highly recommended. Themes: Magic, Magical creatures, Royalty, Sisters, Family, Friendship, Animals.