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: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406393002
  • Published: 06 May 2021
  • Price: £8.99
  • Size: 290 x 210 mm
  • Pages: 56

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Customer reviews


'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

'Illustrated with airy, light-hearted charm by Lauren O’Hara…This longer-form picture book taps astutely into the imaginative life of an adventurous child.' The Guardian Review

'Dahl’s engaging style – teamed with Lauren O’Hara’s gorgeous illustrations – make it a book to remember.' Press Association (SYNDICATED)

'This is a charming story about unexpected friendships and the power of imagination.'

'A beautiful story of adventure, spying and friendship. There are hints of magic, mystery and a lot of fun in this wonderful story. Incredible illustrations enhance the experience of reading this book. Thoroughly enjoyable.' bmd83, Toppsta

'This was a beautifully illustrated book that is the size of a picture book but had quite a bit of writing in. My 5 yr old loved the pictures of mermaids and pirates. We loved the imagination of the little girl and the stories she made up with Madame Badobedah. A lovely story of an unusual friendship and the power of imagination.' Wormmcd42, Toppsta

'Sophie sets herself apart with warm hearted and almost poetic prose.' Yorkshire Post

'Pairing Dahl with O’Hara is a masterstroke. Her painterly images are colourful and chic but mysterious, just like Madame Badobedah, whose life story, refreshingly, is never fully revealed.' The Observer, Children’s Picture Books of the Month

'Our favourite at the moment is Madame Badobedah, Sophie Dahl has used wonderfully imaginative language paired with beautiful illustrations by Lauren O’Hara.' Claire Vallis, Design Insider

'This book celebrates affection across generations and the acceptance of outsiders. Lauren O’Hara’s pictures have the naivety of seaside art, and Dahl’s prose is considered and surprising.' The Sunday Times

'By the end, you'll want to give the lady a giant hug: proof that we should not be quick to judge others and that the biggest adventures may come from real life and listening to the stories of others.' BookTrust

'Any imaginative child will warm to this funny, touching story of lonely only child Mabel. Beautifully illustrated, this is a joyous debut from Roald Dahl’s granddaughter.' The Daily Mail

'Innocence meets experience in this story that’s as beautifully illustrated as it is told.' i

'Lauren O’Hara’s artwork is a delight.' Daily Express

'Featured in a full page interview with Lauren O’Hara.' Bookmark, Sevenoaks Bookshop Magazine

'Mabel is somewhat reminiscent of Eloise, but the story is sweeter, as is the budding friendship between Mabel and Madame Badobedah' World Magazine

'Featured in Woman & Home.' Woman & Home

'Featured on Muddy Stiletto’s in ‘10 best books for primary school kids’.' Muddy Stilettos

'Dahl's writing is word-perfect: a unique, original story with the feel of an immediate classic. Some breath-taking spreads bring Mabel's imagination to life in subtle watercolours with bright accents and an abundance of charming detail.' Independent IE

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