Rudger is Amanda’s best friend He doesn't exist but nobody's perfectOnly Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda's door Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries Rumour says that he eats them And he's sniffed out Rudger Soon Rudger is alone and running for his imaginary life But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?A brilliantly funny scary and moving read from the uniue imagination of AF Harrold this beautiful book is astoundingly illustrated with integrated art and colour spreads by the award winning Emily Gravett

10 thoughts on “The Imaginary

  1. says:

    I am a BIG fan of imaginary friends Helloooooo I am a writer So obviously I knew this book and I would be marvellously happy in each other's company Plus it's super cute And the illustrationsaHHHHH This is why I read MG folks because while YA is my favourite thing in ever it is seriously lacking in the illustration department Basically I adore the artist's style and how most of the drawings were black and white with a single splash of colour The story is naturally about a girl Amanda and her imaginary friend Rudger whom she found in the back of her closest They have all sorts of imaginary adventures and there's like an imaginary friend eating monster that comes to spice things up The monster dude had a really dark and creepy companion andwell I was really impressed that the book managed to be creepy but not terrifying I could totally imagine 10 year old me liking thisALTHOUGH I have to admitwould 10 year old me really connect with Amanda and her imaginary friend? I mean they were super cute and I LOVED Rudger But I guess she was 8 or 10 I just wasn't sure she would still have an imaginary friend I mean I guess that was the point of the book Amanda had a wild imagination and that was unusual For kids her age? But if I'd been a kid reading this I would've been skeptical of Amanda Now as an adult reading it I like it just fine IF THAT EVEN ALL MAKES SENSE ERMAGERD WHAT AM I SAYINGAmanda herself was an interesting character Like I liked herbut the book definitely underlined that she was a self obsessed and b ONLY interested in her own world Because she freuently hurt Rudger's feelings and totally was oblivious to him being upset So Amanda was kind of a jerk But an endearing one?? And Rudger was 100% adorable He was always being bullied about but was still sweet and suishy I LIKEBasicallyI WANT AN IMAGINARY FRIEND NAMED RUDGER My childhood was obviously lacking I never had an imaginary friend okay? Let me cry I loved the illustrationslike this book is just so pretty to look at And the story line was fabulous and I basically whipped through it in an hour It reminded me of Toy Story actually It also reminded me that growing up is overrated Always be yourself unless you can be Peter Pan and never grow up and always have an imagination PS This is my 300th review for 2015 SUEEE

  2. says:

    Featured on my 2014 favourites list‘What is this?’ she said her back to the wardrobe‘Oh’ said Amanda ‘That’s my coat’‘And what’s it doing in there?’‘Hanging up?’ Amanda suggested cautiously‘But darling’ her mum said in a uieter voice ‘It’s all wet Look it’s dripping Hang it up downstairs by the radiator I’ve told you before don’t just stick it in the cupboard It’ll get mouldy When are you ever going to learn?’‘On Monday at school’ Amanda saidMeet Amanda ShuffleupShe’s funny imaginative and has a best friend named RudgerRudger’s not real but nobody’s perfectHe stood up He could do this What would Amanda have done if she’d been in his shoes? Probably complained her shoes were too big but after she’d’ve gone through the door and faced whatever was on the other sideThey’re the best of friends and they do everything together; travel to other planets journey through the jungle make their way twenty thousand leagues under the seaBut then Mr Bunting knocks on the door of the Shuffleup house and catches a whiff of imaginationOnce he catches that smell he keeps turning up everywhere Rudger goesThe rest of this review can be found here

  3. says:

    If you are one of those lucky parents who gets to read to their kids then you gotta add this wickedly funny and creepy book to your list I recommend it towards the older kids because it covers some seriously dark stuff I'm talking up there with Japanese horror movie The Grudge To give you an idea there is a scene during a storm and the power has gone out the pages go between black and white to show lightening and then suddenly you see the image in this link only open if your happy to see a spoiler daughter is 8 and loves a good laugh at a book and enjoys it if things get a bit scary and I think this one makes her top 5 she was cheering and shouting loads and every now and then there would be a mighty OHMYGOD from herIf you hadhave an imaginary friend then I'll think you'll take loads from this book it'll almost be a trip down memory lane If you don't have kids I'd still give it a read don't be ashamed of picking up a kids book for yourself I recently read a Pulitzer Prize Winning Book and it was awful The Imaginary blows it out of the water in all areas The characters are so good well developed and you can't help falling for them the plot was so much better than expected I was really expecting to read something bland a bit like that prize winning book I mentioned just now And you don't get let down by a weak ending instead you get a very moving last few pagesThe illustrations are some of the best I've seen in a kids book Emily Gravett is not a name I've heard before so I checked out her website and was very surprised she has done nothing similar to this beforeSo give this book a go you wont be disappointed Now I just gotta wait for Rob Zombie to make it into a movieBlog post is here

  4. says:

    I'm a little sad I couldn't read this as a kid and then again as an adult; I suspect the story would change greatly between the two readingsThis story seems like what we'd get if we asked Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman to collaborate It's a little off kilter it's imaginative with a bent for strangeness and there's a frightening adult whom other adults don't fear There was even one chapter that sounded just like Gaiman's voice as I read itSoImaginary friendsWho had one?I did I had several actually and from a really early age I don't remember what my first friends looked like but from what I've been told they had a rich life in the carpet They had cities and there was a mayor and I had to pick them all up every single one before anyone vacuumed I was 2 or 3 at the timeI was also BFF with The Flash right before kindergarten and hobbits came down from the mountains to visit me regularly when I was 6 or so It was pretty greatI understood Amanda's world just fineWhat killed me though was her mom's world and the double loss the woman had to endure at the end of the book I will admit there were a few tears shed over thatThis story is uirky and fun light hearted but with a bit of creepiness I recommend it to kids who love Dahl's work and those who have hearty imaginations

  5. says:

    I loved every moment of this through every funny moving and downright scary part

  6. says:

    This review has also been posted on The Social PotatoThis is such a heartfelt book that is bound to make you feel all mushy and warm inside If you like me were an avid watcher for Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends I think this book will be right up your alley and will probably have you flipping through the pages as fast as I was flipping through them The only real disappointment I had while reading this book was that I read an e arc so that meant I couldn’t experience the gorgeous drawings in this book in all their gloryI haz so many feels from reading this book and I am not even sure where to start experessing them For starters you should know this book can be surprisingly dark considering the fact that it’s meant for childrenThis book is actually focused on Rudger the imaginary friend than Amanda and I thought that was interesting It’s about what happens when he gets separated from his human and the evil imaginary friend eating monster he has to deal with I though Rudger was a fantastic character even if he did make that one incredibly uestionable decision which he owned up to a minute later so I couldn’t help but forgive him and I just loved him so much He is so sweet and adorable and you just want to hug himAmanda may have become a secondary character in this book but I still adored her She may have been annoying at times but she was a child and children tend to be self centered It’s funny because she never really acknowledges that she was wrong but you know that she knows and you know that she has grown by the end of the book and that’s enough She is a funny witty character and you can see why she and Rudger are best friends This is the kind of book where there is a chance that the parent will be awful but Amanda’s mom aka Fridge’s Lizzie you’ll get that reference when you read the book is a great parent She knows that Amanda has an imaginary friend but her first instinct isn’t to take her to the psychiatrist When she was worried she called her mom and she drew her own conclusions based on the fact that it didn’t seem to be affecting her daughter negatively and decided to play along although Amanda does know that Rudger isn't realThis book has it’s villain and boy was the villain a jerk faced jerk  Mr Bunting eats imaginary friends because that helps sustain him and now he’s after Rudger  DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN It’s not surprising how all of this turns out but at the same time the author had me worried for a while thereI absolutely adore this book and if you’re looking for a fun children’s book I wouldn’t hesitate to push it at you pushes the book at you I am a serial pusher So go readdd this amazingness it’s WORTH IT

  7. says:

    The Imaginary is an engaging children's story incorporating the magic of imagination with the realities of loss love and danger The plot was so bizarre it left me not wanting to put the book down as I needed to know what strange event was going to happen next However whilst the illustrations complimented the story well they contradicted the whole concept of 'imagination' which left me frustrated as I could not visualise the characters in my own head Without the illustrations a lot description would have been neededThere were some occasions when events were half told and you had to keep reading to understand but as the reader that is what kept me hooked However children who need encouragement with reading may struggle to be patient with how the events of the story unfoldI liked how the book was written in the third person which enabled the author to tell the story through the thoughts and perspectives of the various characters This style of writing can be particularly interesting and useful to children exploring characterisationAs much as I enjoyed this book it left me wondering what ever became of Snowflake Cruncher of Bones and the others But this book is a reminder to both children and adults that your imagination never has to stop

  8. says:

    Littered with stunning and brilliant illustrations and themes of the importance of creativity The Imaginary introduces its readers to Amanda an average British girl living with her apparent single mom Although Amanda does have a few real friends most of whom ignore her her best friend in the world is Rudger a creative and intelligent little boy who is her constant companion But Rudger isn't real Unlike Amanda Rudger is an imaginary friendRudger can't seem to catch a break at all throughout the book From being targeted by a suspicious man in a Hawaiian tourist t shirt who keeps showing up in odd places to learning abut the dreaded child psychologist he's in danger at every turn But with a little imagination and a lot of friendship from Amanda and her mom and from old friends of long ago Rudger might be able to stay around for as long as possible

  9. says:

    Wonderful children's book one of the best I've encountered in a long timeEmily Gravett's art is outstanding and beautifully integrated The story is funny and scary and moving Mr Bunting scares the crap out of me let alone my kids who were shocked into terrified silence yesssss Really excellent disclaimer professional connection I have lots of professional connections to lots of books and authors and I never rave about books I don't love

  10. says:

    It is so wonderful that stories like this exist for children