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MARIA SCRIVENS, Independent Usborne Organiser


Book Review - Knitbone Pepper Ghost Dog: Best Friends Forever

27th February 2019

Knitbone Pepper has had a lovely life bounding down the corridors of Starcross Hall with his best friend forever, Winnie Pepper. He loves her more than all the bicycle wheels, Frisbees and cow pats in the world - they go together like tea and toast, fish and chips, and strawberries and cream!

Winnie Pepper is devastated when her best friend forever passes away. Who will greet her first thing in the morning, race her to the school bus stop and fetch her hanky when she cries? All her life, Winnie had never known what it was to be lonely, but now everything is different. It's all wrong.

The first thing that strikes Knitbone about death is that Heaven isn't up to much. Where are all the squirrels, sausage sandwiches and squeaky balls?! At first, all Knitbone can make out in the darkness is stripy socks, jumpers and the smell of washing powder, so he is more than a little relieved when he realises that the realms of heaven extend beyond Winnie's wardrobe. But when Knitbone emerges, he is distraught to realise that, despite continually nudging her with his wet nose, she can no longer see him! Knitbone is the first to admit that he isn't very good at maths, but even he comes to the conclusion that dead + still here = ghost.

Just when Knitbone is in the depths of despair, a note marked 'for the attention of ye dead' is slipped under the wardrobe door. With an invitation to join the S.O.S. (Spirits of Starcross), Knitbone finds renewed purpose among the Beloveds - the most loyal sort of ghosts who are not so much heroic defenders as domestic caretakers of Starcross Hall. But, when Knitbone discovers the Hall is up for sale and his beloved Winnie and her madcap parents must leave their home, he smells a rat. Can Knitbone and his ghostly gang of animal pals come up with a plan to help Winnie see Knitbone again, and help save Starcross before it's too late? Stonking stinks, séances and biscuit-fuelled spooking ensue...

Knitbone Pepper Ghost Dog: Best Friends Forever is a touching, funny and wonderfully imaginative tale, ideal for all young animal lovers. Packed with mayhem, giggles and barks, this gender-neutral read is a sure-fire hit for middle grade readers.

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