The Wishkeeper's Apprentice
By Author / Illustrator
Rachel Chivers Khoo, Rachel Sanson
Walker Books Ltd
Paperback / softback
A magical book about the power of wishes for readers aged 8+.... Wanted! A wishkeeper's apprentice. When Felix makes a very special wish, he doesn't expect to be offered a job as an apprentice to wishkeeper Rupus Beewinkle. Now Felix must save the town's wishes from the wishsnatcher, who wants to destroy hopes and dreams everywhere. Beautiful black-and-white illustrations by Rachel Sanson.
PRAISE FOR THE WISHKEEPER'S APPRENTICE: "A story full of wishes and a big dollop of magic." Hannah Gold, author of The Last Bear; "Full of wonder and magic." Abi Elphinstone. "Charming and magical, with shades of E Nesbit." Editor's Choice, The Bookseller. "An enchanting story - with fun twists and turns - that is sure to warm your heart." Aisha Bushby. "A fun and original adventure with a zing of magic." L.D. Lapinski. "Supremely charming." Carlie Sorosiak. "Imaginative, heart-warming... A magical tale." A.F. Steadman
Find out more from author Rachel Chivers Khoo
I have to say, I am so incredibly sad to have finished this book. The Wishkeeper's Apprentice is beautiful, heartwarming and a book that is definitely needed in the world at the minute. The book focuses on the life of the main character, Felix Jones, who makes a wish one day in his town's wishing well. Imagine his surprise when, moments later, he spots an unusual looking man fishing his wish penny out of the fountain! Little does he know he is about to meet, Rupus Beewinkle, the town's Wishkeeper. The thing is, Rupus shouldn't be able to be seen!
It turns out to be fate that the two meet as they do for their town, Whittlestone, is falling prey to a menacing creature, a 'wishsnatcher', who wants to rid the town of hope and magic. Rupus and Felix must join forces and fight for good.
I cannot give too much more away without some major spoilers but honestly, this book is superb! It has a real mix of magic and heart and I finished it both immensely happy that I had met these characters but also incredibly sad that my time with them was over. I will be reading this to the whole class and putting it into other teachers' hands at school as this book has a message that all children need to hear: 'There is more to life than darkness and despair'; and 'a creature capable of great wonders could turn into the greatest monster of all when deprived of hope.'
The language choices are beautiful and I found myself really falling into the magic of this book, it was so vivid. This book is written to be loved and I have no doubt that it will be!
240 pages / Reviewed by Nicola, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 7+
I thoroughly enjoyed this warm hearted, charming and delightfully illustrated magical story for younger readers. The wonderfully named Rupus Beewinkle is the elderly Wishkeeper of Whittlestone and keeping up with the ever-growing list of wishes is exhausting and endless. 'Wish snags' (where wishes have gone wrong) are piling up, too. What Rupus wishes for is an apprentice – someone to teach his skills to, and someone to share the load… It just so happens that ten-year-old Felix is currently making a wish of his own; a loner at school, not impressing the other kids with his football skills and with even his own sister seemingly all grown-up and dismissive of him, he wishes things were very different for him. At a chance (or maybe pre-destined?) meeting with Rupus at the wish fountain, it seems Rupus may have found Whittlestone's next Wishkeeper-to-be.
The Wishkeeper's Apprentice is a lively, humorous story in which Felix embarks on a whole new wondrous education, learning wish grades from one ('highly suitable') to four ('ungrantable') but also learning of the malevolent presence of the Wishsnatcher. The feared Wishsnatcher seeks to reverse any existing wishes and stop any future ones being made. If wishes don't exist, the world becomes a very bleak place with unimaginable threats to Rupus, Felix and Whittlestone itself. The adventure becomes a quest for Felix.
The story is full of enchanting, enticing imagery and details that create a magical world around Felix. From Rupus's hidden house, Snugwarm, to the unusual magical objects such as the Vanquisher fire extinguisher to defeat the villain, and the creative Wishfulness Gauge, there is much attention to detail to build a whole world around the reader. Frequent illustrations add to the visual delight; the sketches of Rupus himself are particularly delightful. There are some strong emotional scenes too with the relationship between Felix and his sister at the heart of the story and some perilously tense, dramatic moments as the Keeper and Snatcher face each other.
The Wishkeeper's Apprentice has just the right blend of light and dark, fun and nerves. A lovely , sparkling story.
240 pages / Reviewed by Jenny, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 7+