Sunday, 21 December 2014

Book In Every Stocking - The Pinhole Egg by Diana Wynne Jones recommended by Nick Cross

Today's Book in Every Stocking filler suggestion comes from writer Nick Cross, whose short stories feature in the amazing Stew Magazine. Nick was interviewed about his contribution to Stew in the summer [press here to read]

Dear Santa,

My stocking book filler suggestion is The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones. Normally, it would be sensible to begin with the first book in a series (rather than the last) but in this case the book is so splendid that I can’t resist! The seven book Chrestomanci series (which began with Charmed Life) offers a great many magical treats, but for my money The Pinhoe Egg is the funniest, best-written and most compulsive book of them all.

When a writer returns to a much-loved series after a long break, the results are often disappointing. So, it was with some trepidation that I began reading about the further adventures of Cat Chant, even though I was dying to know what happened to him after Charmed Life. I shouldn’t have worried, because Diana Wynne Jones crafts a masterful, magical, mad-as-a-bag-of-spanners story that expands the world around Chrestomanci Castle and shows Cat finding his true path as an enchanter. The action scenes are amazing (and hilarious), the characters richly drawn and there’s even a cat who can walk through walls!

The Pinhoe Egg is a fitting end to a fabulous series, and can also be read quite comfortably as a standalone story. So what are you waiting for, Santa?


Nick Cross is a regular contributor to Stew - the magazine for curious kids. Stew Magazine is a lively bi-monthly title for inquisitive young minds that launched in January 2014. Aimed at children aged 8 to 12, it is educational but not stuffy, fun without being trivial, and inspirational rather than worthy. Visit for more information and to find out how to subscribe.

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