Reviews for Hidden Gallery

Booklist Reviews 2011 February #1
*Starred Review* When we last saw Miss Penelope Lumley, governess to three wolflike children (but making tremendous strides!), she was trying to recoup after the Incorrigibles had brought Lord and Lady Ashton's Christmas ball to a disastrous halt. Now home renovations are needed, so the Ashton household is on the move to London, where Lady Ashton hopes she will be the belle of British society, and Penelope looks forward to civilizing the Incorrigibles further with trips to the theater and museums. But the undercurrent of "something wicked this way comes" and the signs of impending trouble for both governess and charges make the air here thick with (dreadful!) possibilities. Of course, there are some happier times in the city, too, as Penelope meets up with her beloved headmistress from the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females and finds a new friend in a helpful, unemployed playwright. Questions about the children's backgrounds, Penelope's connections to them, and Lord Ashton's own wolfish behavior set the stage for the next act of this most excellent adventure, the follow-up to The Mysterious Howling (2010). Interior illustrations not seen, but no doubt they'll be most satisfactory. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
In this second installment, plucky governess Penelope and her unusual charges (three orphaned children raised by wolves) leave the family's country estate to visit London, where on various adventures they continue their eclectic education and discover more clues to their mysterious pasts. The tongue-in-cheek narration and highly sympathetic main characters nicely balance the over-the-top-eventful plot. Fun for Lemony Snicket fans. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 January #2

The plot thickens but is still far from crystallizing in this madcap sequel to The Mysterious Howling (2010). Transplanted to London while repairs are being made to manorial Ashton Place in the wake of the last episode's disastrous climax, inexperienced but resourceful governess Penelope Lumley looks forward to shepherding her three young charges—still acquiring a veneer of civilization after having been supposedly raised in the forest by wolves—about the great city. Unsurprisingly, events quickly get out of hand. Except for the occasional self-indulgent aside (listing real but irrelevant 19th-century tourist guides, for instance), the narrative voice continues to develop, thanks to diversions into such niceties as the difference between "optimism" and "optoomuchism" and pterodomania (the study of ferns). When not digressing, the narrator keeps the plot aboil, stirring in vague warnings and (of course) references to a prophecy, characters with ambiguous identities, astonishing apparent coincidences and tasty elements such as a cast of theatrical (but also possibly real) pirates and a strange guidebook that furnishes Penelope with obviously-significant Clues to her own obscure past as well as that of the children's. Great fun, and it wouldn't be optoomuchstic to expect more to come. Includes frequent full-page line drawings, not seen. (Melodrama. 10-12) 

Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March

Gr 3-6--The Incorrigibles, three feral children discovered and adopted by the ridiculously rich Lord Ashton, are back in another series of uproarious escapades. While Ashton Place is being repaired after the disastrous Christmas party at the conclusion of The Mysterious Howling (HarperCollins, 2010), Cassiopeia, Beowulf, and Alexander head for London, under the care of their unflappable 15-year-old governess, Miss Penelope Lumley. Mysterious happenings thwart Miss Lumley's plans for a proper and edifying tour of the city, including a fortune-teller who issues a strange warning to the children, a guidebook that leads them to a hidden gallery in the British Museum, and Lord Ashton's twitching behavior during a full moon. There is genuine humor in Penelope's unruffled attempts to educate and tame her charges, and fun in the wordplay and the use of delicious sounding archaic words. The characterization and plotting are true to an over-the-top parody of a Victorian melodrama as one outlandish adventure after another climaxes in a riotous spoof of a Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta gone bad. The narrator occasionally addresses readers directly with asides and explanations on topics such as holiday fatigue and the Heimlich maneuver, which seems oddly discordant in the distinctly Victorian-style narrative. And while a few new twists are introduced here, the fact that so little is resolved will leave readers wishing for just a bit more. Still, the endearing Incorrigibles and their indefatigable governess are engaging characters, and fans of the first book will be happy to go along for the madcap ride.--Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT

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