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Opal Moonbaby and the Best Friend Project - Maudie Smith

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Opal Moonbaby and the Best Friend Project
Maudie Smith
Paperback / softback
Orion Children's Books
UK Publication Date

Originally published as Opal Moonbaby, this is the first in a funny, warm-hearted series about friendship - and aliens! If you love Jacqueline Wilson, Cathy Cassidy or Liz Kessler, you'll love reading about Opal Moonbaby.

Martha's decided that friends are stupid. Especially if they're anything like Colette and Chloe. She never wants another friend. Ever.

But it's the first day of the summer holidays, and there's not that much to do ... until she spots a strange little furry creature who leads her to Opal Moonbaby. Opal's been sent down from her planet with a special mission: she needs to work out what on earth people are (and my goodness - people are strange) and make a friend. Can Martha help Opal make the Best Friend Project a success?

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Maudie Smith began her career as an actor. She spent years perching on scenery in the back of a van, while touring with a small-scale theatre company. In children's theatre, she played well-known characters such as Piglet and the Snow Queen. She co-devised many of the plays in which she performed and has written lyrics for musicals, cabaret and a libretto. She recently graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing for Young People. Maudie lives in a village near Bath with her screenwriter husband, two daughters, two cats, two chickens and far too many stick insects.

Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @MaudieSmith

The story of an alien who comes to earth on a mission to make friends, this is a rather lovely debut. Quirky and very charming, Opal is something of a futuristic Pippi Longstocking, which can only be a good thing

a little like Pippi Longstocking meets Dodie Smith ... with a sprinkle of Jacqueline Wilson-esque social commentary thrown in for good measure.
I really enjoyed this. It's got a certain, almost old-fashioned, charm to it

"I loved this book ... I really enjoy the way Opal speaks and all the things she tells Martha and Robbie about Carnelia, her home planet ... The plot was great and has us guessing all the way through, and the ending was fantastic. I recommend this funny, great book to boys and girls who love having fun and are 7 or older."
Review by 7 year old Isabella

"I so wish I had a friend like Opal Moonbaby and a pet like Garnet. They would be so funny to hang out with! ... Its the best, best, best best!
Isabella (age 9)

It's amazing! I cant wait to read the next one.
Katya (age 11)

"You can't put down this brilliant, magical and hilarious book - I had to read it again. [Opal Moonbaby is a] very well written story about aliens, friendships and challenges. Opal, Martha and Robbie are very good characters because of their great sense of humour when things aren't always that easy. I have read this book a lot of times and it never gets boring."
Joe Duval Smith (age 10)

I really loved the book. Maudie really knows how kids' friendships work, I thought the book was really sensitive and made me laugh. I loved Opal's happy-go-lucky personality and the way she got all her human phrases wrong.
Max (age 10)

"Now - I want you to remember the name of Opal Moonbaby - she's a brilliant comic creation ... Opal sparkles and she's totally original. I lovedher. And Maudie Smith gives us a great story too. She's pitch-perfect on the way that girls in this age group act."

Opal Moonbaby is one of my favourite books because it is so
Opal Moonbaby is funny, creative, quirky and
Juliet, 10

With fantasy like this, the mostr serious critical questions is whether the willing suspension of disbelief is sustained. Here the characters are believable and their actions and responses ring true. Many of the interactions are marked with genuine humour. Opal has superhuman powers and uses them to strip pretensions from those human characters who ring false. The language used in the narrative is appropriate and consistent, with one or two daring insertions that work pretty well.

A touching story deliciously tinged with magic
LOVEREADING4KIDS - Julia Eccleshare

charming debut has everything: strong characterisation, dramatic
narrative and a perfect ending. Furthermore, the themes of friendship,
trust and tolerance present a powerful message. Children will have fun
reading and talking about Opal Moonbaby.
This could be the beginning of a great new series. Parents, teachers
and librarians, please take note: Maudie Smith is 'zooming totally

Brilliant story, great characters. Highly recommended for 7+, especially girls. This warm and quirtky book will appeal to many girls, whilst avoiding some of the more obvious girliness that is sometimes seen on the shelves for this age group ... I loved the lightness of touch and general humour of this.

The plot is very well paced and there are a lot of surprises in store for the reader. Opal is a fascinating character and is well balanced by the more sensible Martha ... This is a hilarious book and Smith is hugely successful in bringing Opal and her alien ways to life.

Who can resist this delightful, quirky, entertaining book which brings new words and phrases to our vocabulary, such as scoff capsules, hydrophones, swimbats and fantariums. Opal Moonbaby is one of the most charming children's books that I have read in a long time ... As soon as Opal stepped out of her spaceship I found her adorable. her zany and vibrant character would brighten anyone's life ... This book is truly a delight and will entertain all age groups.

Paperback original
Keyword Index
Opal Moonbaby (Fictitious character : Smith) - Juvenile fiction.|Children's stories.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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