Millicent Marbleroller and the Bear Monster Army by Wayne Roseberry: Book Review

The Info:

‘All of Millicent’s dreams had come true. She was now the sole heir to the legendary Crackerhead Toys Inc., and owner of General Crackerhead’s mansion. But even more important, the magical pipe organ was all hers.

But that is where the trouble begins. Millicent has to make lots of “Jolly Good Toys” now for the mysterious People in the Black Vans, and everything she tries to make comes out strange and frightening. To make matters worse, the General’s scheming brother, Admiral Algernon Crackerhead, is intent as ever to get his hands on the mansion and rip it apart to find the secret plans to the Crackerhead Yo-Yo.

Meanwhile, Millicent is unlocking even more secrets of the mansion as she tries to stay one step ahead of the Admiral. Millicent musical adventures continues on…’


Having received the latest adventure of Millicent in the post, I was eager to read what additional excitement she discovered in the Mansion of the Toymaker and who or indeed what was the Bear Monster Army.

With the brief yet detailed prologue at the beginning, this book could stand alone as a separate story in its own right. The setting and descriptions are more developed, with pictures to add extra clarity. The characters come alive within the pages and I have a feeling that as Millicent’s story develops and matures, we too will grow with her.

I very much enjoyed the idea of making toys through music and in reading Millicent’s story was reminded of my own childhood. What child would not want to have toys at the tip of her fingers? Roseberry effortlessly draws out the imagination of children and this in no way is a criticism. I could even hear the laughter of my six-year old niece among the pages.

As with the prequel, the chapters are short, encouraging young readers to read further. The drama within the story is far more in-depth, which may very well invite a new age group of readers through the doors of the Mansion of the Toymaker. Millicent sets an example for her readers, lessons in problem solving, calmness, the benefits of hard work and patience in achieving your goals.

The only misgivings I have is that I found it sometimes difficult to imagine the actions of Millicent and her fellow characters and can not help but wonder how children can imagine them. On the other side, perhaps their imagination is a lot less overcrowded with reality, a curse of the elder generation. The cover may come across as a little scary for the younger generation of readers and may as a result deter parents from purchasing the new edition to Millicent’s adventure in the Toymaking Mansion. However, having avidly read the old Point Horror series as an 11 year old, I am estimating that it is this  age group that Roseberry is aiming for.

The storyline again recaptures the imagination of Roald Dahl. The ending, although completes the story leaves aspects of it open. For this reason, a sequel I am hoping will soon grace my bookshelves. I can not wait to hear what else Millicent will find within the keys of the infamous organ and the secret passageways of the Mansion!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ruby slippers
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 23:31:55

    It doesn’t sound like a book I would enjoy. But you have described it beautifully. I love the way you write. Your style is so easy to read and you make me want to read on, even when it’s about a book I wouldn’t like. You have the ability to ‘draw in’ the reader. You have a talent there! X


  2. alphabetgames
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 13:03:50

    Thank you so much for your kind comment. It is wonderful and encouraging to know you enjoy my writing. It gives me a reason to keep writing! x


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