Review: Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things


Book Title: Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things (available here)

Author: Matilda Woods

Publisher: Scholastic

Publication Date: February 2020

Most Suitable For: Years 4-6

Reviewed By: Jayne Gould, Librarian

It was appropriate to begin reading this book during some recent cold weather because it features a place that is locked in eternal winter. In the city of Hodeldorf, every day is freezing and the days are getting shorter. A group of homeless children, known as the Tattercoats, huddle beside the warm chimneys of the rooftops by night and roam the streets, stealing only what they need to survive, by day.


Otto has recently arrived in the city, with his mother, who against advice has gone into the forest surrounding Hodeldorf. When she does not come back, Otto is forced to live on the streets, until he is lured to the boot polish factory, from which there is seemingly no escape. But new-found friends, Nim and Blink, live by the Tattercode, and Rule 2 says that you must always help a Tattercoat in need. When Otto decides that he is going to search for his mother in the Forest of Lost Things, they accompany him, discovering all sorts of magical characters and places, and a way to bring warmth back to Hodeldorf.


Flavours of Oliver Twist, with the gang of street children and a truly Dickensian factory, combine with a sprinkling of fairy tales and Narnia in an enchanting fantasy adventure likely to warm your heart. With its themes of friendship, family and never giving up hope, there are gentle lessons about perseverance and kindness to be learned in the exploration of the streets and rooftops of Hodeldorf and the Forest of Lost Things.


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You can order Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things online or from your local bookshop or library.



Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Jayne for reviewing it.



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