Madame Badobedah and the Old Bones

By Sophie Dahl

Illustrated by Lauren O'Hara

A timeless story celebrating friendship, imagination and adventure, with exquisite illustrations, from a bestselling author.

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, particularly their most interesting guest and Mabel's best friend, Madame Badobedah. Madame Badobedah has pirouetted through pyramids, skated across rivers, swum with mermaids and even helped a Triceratops with a toothache. Now Mabel joins her on her latest adventure to return a priceless emerald to the Natural History Museum. And while there, they just might meet an old friend...

Categories: Picture Books

For readers aged: 5+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406384420
  • Published: 05 Oct 2023
  • Price: £12.99
  • Size: 290 x 210 mm
  • Pages: 48

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Customer reviews


'Touching and fantastical, the illustrations are divine. My daughter wants to be the girl, Mabel – but Madame B steals the show for me.' The Financial Times

'A celebration of friendship and imagination.' Red

'A delightful children's tale.' Woman & Home

'The marvelously eccentric Madame Badobedah whisks Mabel on an adventure to the Natural History Museum in this gorgeously illustrated and utterly charming instalment in the beloved picture book series.' (Selected as one of the best books of 2023)

'Dahl’s elegant, crimson-haired adventurer, beautifully depicted by illustrator Lauren O’Hara.' The Guardian

'This is a funny and adventurous story about two unlikely friends' The best Irish children’s books of 2023, The Times

'Listed in the Best Children's Books of 2023 for the Sunday Times' Sunday Times

'A real sparkler.' Jessica Love

'What a delight to join Mabel and her unlikely companion on another of their exciting escapades – this time featuring friendly dinosaurs and my favourite museum. A charming and beautifully illustrated story, which is sure to leave young fossil-hunters everywhere in desperate want of their own Madame Badobedah to adventure with.' Jess French

'An absolutely gorgeous read. Poetic words and stunning illustrations. Madame Badobedah is becoming a legendary character in the world of children’s books.' Laura Dockrill

'Gosh! How I wish I could be a child again and have this story read to me. I would long to be Mabel with a friend like Madame Badobedah. It’s exactly the kind of secret imaginary world that I love, with just the right amount of defiance and wit to balance the pearls of wisdom sprinkled within. The scenery is glorious, humorous and beautiful at the same time, with colours that soothe and don’t overwhelm, despite their intensity. Now I just wish I could go and stay in the Mermaid Hotel!' Emma Chichester Clark

'A celebration of female explorers and friendship.' The Bookseller Buyer's Guide

'Another timeless tale, told in four parts, that celebrates adventure, friendship and the power of the imagination. Lauren O’Hara’s illustrations are full of charm and whimsy.' Red Reading Hub

'Madame Badobedah and The Old Bones marks the exciting return of author Sophie Dahl to the enchanting world of Madame Badobedah and seaside magic. This captivating adventure is illustrated once again by the brilliant Lauren O’Hara.' Preneur World

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