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Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard, by Nicola J. Rowley

Minty Taylor’s best friends have vanished along with other local children including the head teacher’s son. She finds a mysterious object that looks like a coin and her magical adventure begins when dancing wizard Mug the Wumph arrives to claim it. Can Minty save her friends from the clutches of evil wizard Grimacant…?
Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard is a wonderful character. Born a human, he developed magical powers which led to his estrangement from his family. The act of dancing to create magic is a lovely touch and I enjoyed his magical animals the Concur Bird and Cupro Blue (a cat).
Minty is strong willed and resourceful. She is brave and loyal too. I think that having a balance of the sexes in the two main characters will mean that boys and girls would enjoy this book equally (yes, I know it shouldn’t matter but it usually does 🙁 )
At the beginning of the book are some illustrations to help with the visualisation of the characters which is really helpful for younger readers as there are no other illustrations in the book. If you want a sneak peek, then take a look here: https://www.mugthewumph.com/characters
Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard is aimed at children aged 7 to 12. Matthew is 10 and would be able to read this quite easily and quickly. Anya is 7 and a more reluctant reader so she and Zach (who is only 4) enjoyed listening to me read this aloud to them. The chapters and overall length are not too daunting for developing readers, and the language used is appropriate and will hopefully encourage vocabulary progression.
There were some leaps of intuition that Minty made which I felt could have been explored in more detail and perhaps more clues given to bring the reader along too. I did have a few questions such as what does Wumph mean? Is it a magical term? I wanted to meet more of the magical community and find out more about their way of life but I suspect this will feature in later books.
The plot of Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard is engaging and fun for adults and children. I really enjoyed the scenes with the rainbow bus which were particularly easy to imagine and my kids liked this too.
There is plenty of potential for at least one sequel and I look forward to reading more of Minty and Mug the Wumph’s adventures in the future.
Mug the Wumph the Danicng Wizard book cover
Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard book blurb
12-year-old Minty Taylor is a daydreamer.
She loves to lose herself in her own imagination and artwork of fantasy characters.
She is struggling with loneliness at school, after two of her closest friends are among twelve pupils, who mysteriously disappear during an Orienteering lesson overseen by bumbling supply teacher Mr Crumpler.
Then one day, Minty discovers a unique ten-sided copper coin, inscribed with the words “Quaerite et Invenietis.” Taken by its beauty, though others think it is just “tat”, she picks it up and holds onto it for safe keeping.
Later that night, while she is struggling to sleep because of the summer heat, she remembers the coin, and tosses it into the air.
Without realising it, she has summoned Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard, Cupro Blue his faithful cat and the magical Concur Bird, who arrive in Minty’s road on a small blue floating carpet.
What unfolds is an epic magical adventure.
Mug the Wumph is convinced that Grimacant, an evil wizard who lives on the other side of Wild Boar Wood is up to no good.
Is the disappearance of Minty’s best friends and her other classmates just a co-incidence or is Grimacant stripping them of their memories and using them to his own end?
And how does Mr Crumpler fit into everything?
Mug the Wumph is a magical tale of dancing wizardry, beautiful music and the imagination and bravery of a 12-year-old girl put to good use to help save the children from Primrose Valley Comprehensive.
Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard author Nicola J Rowley
About the author:
Nicola J Rowley is an Author, Photographer and Communications expert.
She has written two Children’s Picture Books, James and the Amazing Gift and the award-winning James and the Birthday Balloon, (Red Ribbon Award – The Wishing Shelf Awards 2017, Children’s Book of the Year 2017 Online Book Club).
Nicola was born in Basildon in Essex and credits having some great teachers at primary and secondary school who both inspired and helped nurture her love of the written word.
From the age of seven, when her aunt asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she answered, “A writer or a poet”.
Nicola studied Journalism and Sociology at City University in London so that she could become a journalist and write. She fell in love with broadcasting and instead became a radio newsreader, TV producer and reporter, before moving into Communications.
In between it all, she also launched her own successful photography business, which she still runs today, specialising in weddings and commercial imagery.
When her son was born in 2014, within weeks she started reading to him. It was from seeing his enjoyment from turning the pages, learning new words and going on special adventures, which inspired her to write her first book; James and the Amazing Gift.
Nicola lives in Hersham, Surrey with her husband and son.


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