Madame Badobedah

By Sophie Dahl

Illustrated by Lauren O'Hara

A timeless story celebrating friendship and imagination, from an exciting new voice in children's literature.

Mabel lives with her parents in The Mermaid Hotel, by the sea. Mabel likes to keep an eye on the comings and goings of all the guests. Then one day a particularly in-ter-est-ing old lady comes to stay. There is something very suspicious about her, with her growly voice and her heavy trunks and her beady-eyed tortoise. And why does no one know her REAL name? There can only be one answer, Mabel decides ... this guest is a SUPERVILLAIN. But even supervillains have a soft side, and as an unlikely friendship grows between the pair, their fantastical exploits take them well beyond the corridors of their seaside home.

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 5+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406384406
  • Published: 03 Oct 2019
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 290 x 210 mm
  • Pages: 56

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Customer reviews


'...this quirky, imaginative story is a delight… Vividly illustrated, this is a witty and gently moving debut.' The Daily Mail

'Dahl’s granddaughter makes her children’s debut with this gentle tale… “I really hate bitter books, and bitter people,” Sophie Dahl has said. There is no bitterness here, and nothing too revolting – but there is plenty of charm.' The Daily Telegraph

'It is a splendidly entertaining story, just right for younger readers who are launching out into a larger text, and Lauren O’Hara has responded to it with huge dash and imagination.' Shirley Hughes

'’s swashbuckling and mysterious whilst still being very easy to follow. I can’t recommend it enough as a gift for a godchild or a niece or nephew, it’s a beautiful, beautiful kids’ book and I hope to read lots more of Madame Badobedah' Dolly Alderton, The High Low podcast

'This book is one of those books you dreamt of reading as a child. That you wished you could write as an adult. One that you’re so glad exists so your own child can read. It’s a proper children’s book.' Laura Dockrill, author of Darcy Burdock and Angry Cookie

'Written and illustrated with heaps of wit, charm and heart, Madame Badobedah manages to feel both fresh and classic at the same time.' Anna James, author of the Pages & Co series

'“A tale of fantastical exploits and an unlikely friendship, with stylish, whimsical art.”' The Bookseller, Children’s Previews

'“[…] as charming as you’d hope with stylish, whimsical art from rising star O’Hara.”' The Bookseller Buyers’ Guide

'This is PURE PERFECTION. I’m curbing the urge to want to gift this IMMEDIATELY. When a book comes along as special as this, you immediately want to share its glory with your little people… Sophie Dahl, what a wordsmith, WHAT A GIFT! Just the most descriptive and exquisite storyteller. She has completely blown me away with her first children’s book.' @LuggyLibrary, Instagram

'I can’t describe just how much I love this book... I cried when I finished it and I’m sure I will the next time I read it. A gorgeously written tale of friendship from @mssophiedahl and beautifully illustrated by @oharasisters This is going on my favourites list!' @The_Little_Bookcase, Instagram

'Refreshing book - Imaginative, descriptive, and word friendly, a delight for everyone young and old. Madame Badobedah is a book you can listen to, read on your own when you have learnt to read and even Grandparents to enjoy reading with their Grandkids. The art work is perfect for this book!', Instagram

'A perfect picture book that we really recommend in hardback as you will read and reread and is sure to be passed down the generations, yes that is how good it is!' @Little_English_Bookworm, Instagram

'You can tell #sophiedahl is a mother... and also a brilliant story teller. The illustrations by #laurenohara are elegant and beautiful. This story allows you to slip into the beautiful fantasy world which is set in the stunning seaside B and B called The Mermaid Hotel.' @Our.Little.Book.Collections, Instagram

'Madame Badobedah is a beautifully illustrated book and a warm and engaging story celebrating friendship and imagination.' Booknook_shop, Instagram

'Sophie Dahl and Lauren O’Hara have produced the adorable Madame Badobedah… The illustrations by @oharasisters are breathtaking and frame worthy. This is a longer format picture book so wonderful to gather together under an umbrella in the garden in the Southern Hemisphere or by the fire in the Northern Hemisphere. The book is filled with stories of The Mermaid Hotel and the adventures that Mabel a resident has with all the comings and goings especially those of Madame Badobedah.' @Thelittlebookemporium, Instagram

'I’ve waited a long time for this release and it does not disappoint. Couldn’t be more me. Congratulations @mssophiedahl @oharasisters you’ve crafted a thing of beauty.' @EllasEnchantedWood, Instagram

'With wonderful storytelling and beautiful pictures bringing the story alive this will be a great gift and ideal bedtime.' @ButtonAndBearBookshop, Instagram

'Her drawings are completely beautiful… It’s so magical and the words and the drawings really do weave together in this symbiosis which completely transported me when I read it to be being read to as a kid [...] I had completely forgotten what it’s like when you find a story that’s so vivid and imaginative and the pictures and the words align so perfectly that you literally every night feel that you are stepping into a page with your mum.' Dolly Alderton, The High Low Podcast

'My favourite contemporary kids' author.' Editor's Letter, Evening Standard Magazine

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