Sophie Dahl

Books Felicity Blunt, +44 (0)20 7393 4254 Email Felicity Blunt

Madame Badobedah

book | 2019
World → Walker Books (Ed. Emma Lidbury)

Mabel lives with her parents in The Mermaid Hotel, by the sea. Mabel likes to keep an eye on the coming and goings of all the guest. Then one day a particularly in-ter-est-ing old lady comes to stay. There is something very suspicious about her, with her growly voice and her heavy trunks and her beady-eyed tortoise. And why does no one know her REAL name? There can only be one answer, Mabel decides ... this guest is a SUPERVILLAIN. But even supervillains have a soft side, and as an unlikely friendship grows between the pair, their fantastical exploits take them well beyond the corridors of their seaside home.

This is a timeless story celebrating friendship and imagination, from an exciting new voice in children's literature.


Film Rights


Contact Luke Speed for more information


Well, this quirky, imaginative story is a delight [...] Vividly illustrated, this is a witty and gently moving debut.

Daily Mail

Dahl's granddaughter makes her children's debut with this gentle tale. 'I really hate bitter books, and bitter people,' Sophie Dahl has said. There is no bitterness here, and nothing too revolting - but there is plenty of charm.

The Daily Telegraph

This book is one of those books your dreamt of reading as a child. That you wished you could write as an adult. One that you're so glad exists so your own child can read. It's a proper children's book.

Laura Dockrill
author of Darcy Burdock and Angry Cookie

It is a splendidly entertaining story, just right for younger readers who are launching out into a larger text, and Lauren O'Hara has responded to it with huge dash and imagination.

Shirley Hughes

Madame Badobedah is so magical [...] I had completely forgotten what it's like when you find a story that's so vivid and imaginative and the pictures and words align so perfectly that you literally every night feel that you are stepping into a page with your mum [...] It's a beautiful, beautiful kids' book and I hope to read lots more of Madame Badobedah.

Dolly Alderton
The High Low podcast

Written and illustrated with heaps of wit, charm and heart, Madame Badobedah manages to feel both fresh and classic at the same time.

Anna James
author of the Pages & Co series

My favourite contemporary kids' author

Laura Weir's Top Five Picks of the Week
ES Magazine

For a non-spectral excursion, visit a seaside B&B in Sophie Dahl's Madame Badobedah, illustrated with airy, light-hearted charm by Lauren O'Hara [...] This longer-form picture book, tapping astutely into the imaginative life of an adventurous child, is lovely both to read and to listen to.

The Guardian

The book is a thing of wonder

David Walliams

One of 2019's most exciting and imaginative picture books, Sophie Dahl's debut for children is wonderfully eccentric and also tells a powerful tale of friendship.

The Sun

Sophie Dahl's Madame Badobedah looks like a picture book, but has several chapters of story. Mabel lives in The Mermaid Hotel and is wary of a strange and stylish new guest, whom she suspects of being a spy. As distrust gives way to friendship, this book celebrates affection across generations and the acceptance of outsiders. Lauren O'Hara's pictures have the naivety of seaside art, and Dahl's prose is considered and surprising. 

The Sunday Times 'Best Books of 2019'

A stylish and sophisticated story for young readers to treasure

Jacqueline Wilson