Albert Talbot Master of Disguise

Albert Talbot Master of Disguise
Ben Manley and Aurélie Guillerey
Two Hoots

From Ben Manley the author of The Misadventures of Frederick and the illustrator of Daddy Long Legs, Aurélie Guillerey, comes a book that celebrates the power of the imagination in children.

We spend a day in the company of young Albert and his various alter egos from the time his mother calls him to get up until she tucks him in to bed at night.

In between Albert is faced with a number of challenges each of which he rises to by assuming a new persona.

First as his mum wakes him, he’s notorious desperado Clate Stouderhoofen, ‘the incognito kid, the man with no name’. W-hay!

As he has to leave for school, Albert is ‘Rusti Buffels, Fearless Mountaineer and climber of Mount Chirrachit. Show and tell time sees him as Professor Octavius Pickleswick, mechanical engineer presenting his greatest robotic invention.

At the poolside before his swimming lesson,

he becomes Zandrian Delaclair, Antarctic Submariner – destroyer of the abominable Vampire Cuttlefish! – you bet!

Back home there’s one more change of identity and then, come bedtime, tired by his day of imaginings, Albert realises that at that particular moment as sleep calls, he’s very happy just to be himself.

Children and adults alike will delight in the weird and wonderful names Ben Manley has created for Albert in his far-out fusion of fantasy and reality, while Aurélie Guillerey’s illustrations, be they those of Albert’s imagination or reality, are full of quirky detail as they show the boy as hero or rule subverter.

Imagination is power – what a great message.

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