Cover Image: The Moonlight Statue

The Moonlight Statue

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Member Reviews

I actually tried reading this multiple times and like so many other books I just couldn't get into it. Just not for me.
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Holly Webb has another hit on her hands with this book. Due to other reasons I was not able to read it through net galley when I was granted permission but I did go back and read it from my library. It is a great book for ages 8 to 12 or anyone who enjoys juvenile literature. The characters are funny and adventurous with the perfect combination of understanding the world around them.
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This is a another fun story from Holly Webb, mixing a bit of loneliness, a new start and some ghostly goings on in a stately home in Cornwall. It’s perfect for animal lovers, particularly young girls, and the illustrations of Jason Cockcroft provide lovely pictures for less confident readers to encourage them along.

Polly is lonely. She’s lost her dad, her mum’s always busy and she has no friends. She does like living in Cornwall, she just wishes she had someone to explore with. And then she wakes up Rex and suddenly life is far more interesting, with ghosts and mysteries and a little hint of adventure. There’s also a glimpse of more to come from this series, since this house is full of all kinds of other dogs, hopefully waiting to also be woken up.

If you’re the type of reader (or have someone in mind) who loves action and adventure, this book might not be exciting enough for them. There is a bit of peril towards the end, but mostly it’s about Polly feeling alone in a new place. But if you like dogs and are interested in ghosts and a little bit of mystery, then this could well be for you. I found it an easy, enjoyable read that animal mad younger me would have devoured eagerly. I look forward to seeing where the series heads next.
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Having a quick browse on Goodreads, it became apparent that Holly Webb has written quite a significant back catalogue of cutesy books about puppies, kittens, fairies and princesses for the younger end of the middle grade age bracket.  While there is a definite whiff of the cutesy about The Hounds of Penhallow Hall, the story overall fits nicely into the typical tropes about moving to a new, unexpectedly magical home with which the middle grade fantasy genre is replete. 

There is really nothing new or particularly original about this story - a girl moves to a Big House with her mother, gets very lonely, discovers a fluffy magical companion and solves the mystery (such as it is) of a boy haunting the house.  There are no major problems to  overcome, no sense of particular danger or suspense and everything gets wrapped up quickly and easily with little struggle or fuss.  For that reason, this is one of those middle grade books that will appeal much more to younger readers than it will older readers of middle grade.

The story itself had a bit of an old-timey feel, probably due to the oft-used content, but Polly is instantly likable, Rex is the kind of companion anyone would love to have, and the ghost boy, William, caves quickly enough from his stroppy mood to make us like him too.  I will admit that reading this book did strengthen my already quite strong desire to make a wolfhound part of the Shelf family, however impractical that may be.  

I would have liked to see a bit more conflict in this book; conflict in the sense of a problem that Polly has to solve or overcome to give the narrative a bit of oomph or suspense.  As it is, the story arc is basic and there didn't seem to me to be enough of a hook to keep independent readers engaged, unless they particularly love dogs.

Overall, this is one that fell short of my expectations, but should appeal to the younger end of the middle grade audience and those who would love the idea of a magical doggy companion.
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There were some great issues addressed in this book - bereavement, loneliness, parental absence.  I loved the friendship between Polly and the statue dog, but I felt a little disappointed with the final drama.  The ending made it very obvious that this book is going to be part of a series as it felt quite abrupt.
I will definitely recommend it to my younger readers but maybe when the next book is out so that they can immediately move onto the second book to furthermore explore the relationships between the children and the dogs.
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When Polly and her Mum move to Cornwall, following her Dad’s death, she has never felt so sad. Her first view of Penhallow Hall lifts her spirits though as she realises how grand her new home is, and when she sees her new bedroom she is full of excitement for her new life by the sea.

With her beach bag packed, Polly explores the grounds waiting for Mum to have time to take her swimming, but Mum’s job is keeping her too busy. Loneliness sets in, and Polly wonders whether she will ever make any new friends. Then, one night she wakes on the Terrace in the middle of the night, and the statue feels soft and warm…

A beautifully told story of friendship, and belonging, with an ending that leaves you wondering what happens next for Polly and her new friends.

Great for fans of Jenny Dale and Pippa Funnell.

Ebook proof courtesy of Stripes Publishing via Netgalley.
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A brilliant and heartwarming story from an author who keeps on giving us some truly excellent reading.  Aimed at her younger readers this really hits the spot.
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