I first came across Robin Jarvis when I read The Dark Portal (The Deptford Mice Trilogy). I loved the first two books, then I went to buy the third….and I realised they were not young adult books. I of course, was not a child, I was a teenager (almost anyway), but I recoiled in horror that I should have bought a children’s book, and I may be seen by my peers doing that. God almost-teenage years…awful…and this was before the time of the internet when I could have just bought the third one online and nobody would have seen my AWFUL secret of loving a book that was aimed at my age group!!!! The shame….

So, when this popped up on Netgalley I felt I had to redeem myself for robbing Robin of a sale (WH Smith’s as well, in Eldon Square). Sorry- going off on one again. The Devil’s Paintbox – a children’s book, being read by an adult….think that’s what I amsupposed to be now at 39? I should read more of these books – kinds books are great, and I do have a habit of buying my old childhood books – with the cover I remember of course, no new editions for me…

It’s one of those proper books that you want to keep and hold in your heart forever – special books with a witch (Cherry) and two young kids (Lil and Verne), and best of all, a robot Jack Potts. Then there is the baddy – Dark.

The kids are best friends, the robot keeps running out of coins, the walls in the witch’s house change colour with her mood, the baddy is oh so bad, and the mother goes crazy. All due to the devil’s paintbox…..one colour must be used every day – every day another disaster unleashed, one on top of another until the paintbox is used up, and the kids, with the help of Cherry must save Whitby!

I truly couldn’t put this down once I’d started reading it and finished it in a couple of days – I even stayed up past my bedtime to get to the end –  and I never do that. Ever. The only problem is that it leaves you on a cliffhanger – and I need to find out what happens because it’s far from over. I’m going to have to hunt on Netgalley to see if the next one is there – I can’t bear it!!!

PS – I think i’m going to have to buy the Deptford Mice series again…

With thanks to Netgalley & Egmont UK Limited

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