A Tangle of Magic

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations


Book Title: A Tangle of Magic

Author: Valija Zinck

Translator: Helen Jennings

Publisher: Chicken House

Publication Date: August 2018

Most Suitable For: Years 3-6

A Tangle of Magic is a quirky and charming fantasy covering themes of identity and family, translated from Valija Zinck’s original German story.


Penelope is a young girl living with her mother and her cat Coco, who once belonged to Penelope’s estranged father before he went missing several years ago. Penelope has always seemed different from other children, with her grey hair, the smell of fire that seems to follow her wherever she goes and the fact that she can sometimes hear what people say before they open their mouths.


One day, Penelope wakes up to discover that her ash-grey hair has turned into a sparkling tangle of bright red locks overnight. What’s more, she soon learns that her long-lost father was actually a wizard and it appears that Penelope has inherited his magical abilities.


What follows is Penelope's journey to find her father and a quest to explore her awakening magical identity. Throw in a few talking roads, a flying spell and a half-functioning invisibility tool and you are left with a wonderfully imaginative and enchanting story in which nothing is quite what it seems.


Despite the quirky magic and fantasy elements, there is also a dose of realism as Penelope deals with some hugely relatable issues such as a missing father, forming friendships and navigating questions of identity.


A quick and curious read that is suitable for readers across KS2.



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You can order A Tangle of Magic online or from your local bookshop or library.


Many thanks to the publisher for kindly sending me a review copy of this book.



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