Investing in a new author is always an exciting venture, for the publishers as it is for the readers. And after a longish gestation period, Merlin Publishers are proud to be launching the debut novel for children by Audrey Friggieri. Avventuri mill-Klassi ta’ Miss Ambrożja Pulis Kiftaranipengini is a zany adventure with a class teacher definitely sui generis who seems to be able to magically transport her students – one at a time – to a deserted island. How will each of them cope? Will they adapt, try to find their way out, or befriend the island’s only inhabitant?
Miss Ambrożja is a clever mix of humour, adventure, wackiness and thought experiments. It is most definitely not your average children’s book, but even more entertaining for that. Friggieri’s ambitious manuscript is illustrated by Spanish artist José Luís Ocaña. Collaborating with a non-Maltese artist has been a first for Merlin Publishers, a concrete example of international cooperation and exploiting the synergies of the European creative market. Born of an encounter at Bologna Book Fair 2012, this collaboration is certainly the first of many to come, as the illustrations managed to perfectly capture the mood of Friggieri’s novel.
Miss Ambrożja is perfect for readers aged 8 to 12, although of course as with all good children’s fiction the only age limit is one’s imagination.