Author(s): Joan Aiken
When Arabel and the raven Mortimer spend a fun-packed evening with their favourite babysitter, Chris Cross, they have no idea of the chaos they create in their wake. A reckless game of dressing up and hide and seek results in a big crash, a trumpet wedged onto Mortimer's head and a milk shortage. While Arabel, Mortimer and Chris are out replacing the milk, Arabel's parents return home to find the house empty and apparently ransacked. They fear the worst! Can it be that a black mamba has escaped from the zoo or has Arabel been kidnapped? Policemen, firemen and anxious ladies comb the streets in search of the missing trio, who are blissfully unaware of the chaos they have caused.
JOAN AIKEN, the daughter of the American poet and novelist Conrad Aiken, was an immensely popular and prolific author who wrote over a hundred novels for adults and children. The creator of the stories about Arabel and her pet raven Mortimer, originally written for the BBC's Jackanory series and which have been televised on the BBC, she also wrote wonderful, quirky novels, full of humour and the unexpected. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase won the 1964 Lewis Carroll Shelf Award and was made into a film. Joan Aiken was awarded an MBE for her services to children's literature in 1999. She died in 2004. QUENTIN BLAKE is one of the best-known illustrators of our time, and his books with a wide range of authors, including Joan Aiken, Russell Hoban, Michael Rosen and Roald Dahl, have been treasured by generations of children throughout the world. In 1999 he became the first Children's Laureate. In 2005 he was awarded a CBE, and in 2013 he was knighted for services to illustration. Quentin lives in London.