Hugo Pepper (Far-Flung Adventures) by Paul Stewart, illustrated by Chris Riddell 252pp RL4
Hugo Pepeper is the third and possibly final book in the Far-Flung Adventures series written by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. And, although the books do not have to be read in any order, there are reoccurring people and places in all of them. As to be expected, these books are packed with interesting characters with quirky traits and impeccable illustrations to go with them!
This book begins with Harvi and Sarvi Runter-Tun-Tun, reindeer herders and cheesemakers extraordinaire of the great Frozen North and their discovery of a baby on their doorstep one night. When this orphan, Hugo, discovers the wreckage of the aeronautical snow chariot at age ten and a half, he realizes that he has a past that he yearns to know about. Harvi and Sarvi realize this as well and help him to find his way home. When Hugo reaches Harbor Heights, he finds a town both wonderous and wretched. The inhabitants of Firefly square sell the most amazing things, but they are stuck in the evil grip of Elliot de Mille, the new head of the Institute of Travelers' Tales and the secrets he publishes in the Firefly Quarterly.
Rich with story-collectors, mermaids, snow giants, tea blenders, flying carpet slippers and far more amazing people, places, foods and the usual array of fantastic hats than I can describe here, it makes me a little bit sad to think that this may be the last Far-Flung Adventure. Fortunately, Chris Riddell is striking out on his own with what might become a series about Ottoline, a little girl who is often on her own while her parents travel the world collecting interesting things... Along with her companion, Mr Monroe from Norway (a definite relative of Cousin Itt) Ottoline solves the mystery of the cat burglar. Shorter and at a slightly lower RL than the Far-Flung Adventures, this could be a great addition to the world of children's literature!