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Glister: The House Hunt

Posted on Jun 25, 2010

Andi Watson
(Walker)

Strange things always seem happen around Glister Butterworth, as we found out in the first volume of her adventures (see here).

Glister’s village is taking part in the annual Village-in-Bloom contest, led by the very pompous Mr Leonard Swarkstone, Lord Lieutenant of Whixleyshire and head of the Gravehunger Moss Bonny Village task force. He is determined to win and is willing to iron out any creases which might appear in the perfect picture he is creating of the village. After Glister takes him on a grand tour of the property, it becomes obvious that Swarkstone does not like what he is seeing! Chilblain Hall is no ordinary home of course; it has a soul and a mind of its own and many unusual and magical things happen there. Things that don’t fit with Swarkstone’s ideal English village. So when he announces that he will make sure that the judges do not see it, the house finds itself insulted and after getting into a huff disappears altogether, taking everything with it, including resident ghost Philippa Veil. Glister and her father have to find themselves a new home and after initially enjoying the all mod cons of their new residence (a state of the art tree house, grown from the ground thanks to a magic bean!), she soon finds herself missing her old house and pining for all its imperfections. Glister therefore decides that she will do anything to bring Chilblain Hall to its rightful place, not only geographically, but also as part of the village. But with the house that has a mind of its own, it will be no mean task!

Whether the first volume very much focused on Glister’s life in the house, this time we get to have a peek at her world outside of Chilblain Hall. And while the village does not host the magic that house does, it certainly has the same quirky air; its name for a start, is Gravehunger Moss!
What I love about Glister is its quirkiness. It is irresistibly quaint, and basks into that great English wackiness. Everytime you think you have seen it all, something else crops to surprise and delight you. The humour is clever but accessible to both a young and not-so-young (ahem) audiences.

At the end of this book there is also a short text-based story and both front and back inside covers offer a paper doll version of Glister with clothes to photocopy.

I cannot emphasize enough how great Glister is; in a country where comics and graphic novels still struggle to be recognized as anything but reading material for geeks or reluctant readers, Glister has the great potential to fight those pathetic misconceptions. It is a great story which will appeal to both girls and boys, young and old. All Walker needs to do is get it out there, to the masses. So why is it still so hard to get in the shops? They have tried quite hard to publish some exciting titles in this media, so what they need now is a big massive promotion for bookshops. Come on Walker Books!

Two further volumes of Glister adventures are available. See previews of The Family Tree here  and The Faerie Host here.

A big thank you to Andi for sending me this title (as well as a huge apology for taking so long to review it!)

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