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#BookReview: The Lolly Shop (Book 1), Lauren Hackney (author), B. and E. Hackney (illus.), L. B. & E. Hackney, 2021.


Join in the magic with Bax and Ethan as they make sweetness and mayhem in their Lolly Shop.

These loveable characters solve many problems with their special magic, loving and caring, working hard and having fun. Unfortunately, they also create unexpected problems when their sweets have real magic added.

Follow their triumphs and despair as they help their family through rough times.


Just like its cover, this story pops to life with a delectable assortment of colourful fun and an authentic child appeal! The Lolly Shop is a delicious adventure of mischief and mayhem, driven by magical forces that will keep its junior fiction to middle grade readers satisfied all the way through to the end.

In seven short chapters, the book speaks to its audience from both a third-person narrative perspective and from that of its two protagonists, young brothers Ethan and Baxter. It is told in a conversational style that would be perfect for reluctant readers, as well as making a fun storytelling reading experience – a read aloud book that can be engaged at bedtime, on car trips, around the campfire or the dinner table, much like how the story came to life by its creators in the first place! With a motivation to turn their family’s fun adventure stories into a published book, author Lauren Hackney and her sons collaboratively produced this imaginative story with child-friendly, black and white animated sketches sprinkled throughout. And without being didactic, the tale also includes valuable themes of family support, teamwork, finding one’s strengths, hard work, creative thinking and problem solving.

Baxter and Ethan decide to open their own lolly shop after their parents lose their jobs in an economic downturn. They work hard to create all the fun, imagination and creativity of ‘Creating, crafting, baking, inventing, selling and repeat.’ Children are already lining up for Ethan and Baxter’s wonderful lollies, but once a magical sugary powder mysteriously shows up at their store, their customers can’t get enough of the effects of super high jumping, speed running, magicking holograms and invisibility, boosting bravery, and more. Of course, the unexpected results cause more mischief in the town than Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river! Over-active gummi bears and sneaky bullies are only part of the problem, but these brothers and their friends find that unlocking imaginations and inspiring creativeness can have positive effects, too – even without magic.

I liked this story for the pure enjoyment of wild imaginations free to soar and magical wishes free to come true (and for adults, too!). The Lolly Shop leaves us with both the satisfaction of a full mind, and a mouth-watering hunger for what will happen in the next instalment (The Lolly Shop 2; Dex the Bilby). Lolly-lovers and magic-makers from age five are invited to join this whimsical, popping adventure of sweet delights.

Review by Romi Sharp.

Look out for The Lolly Shop 2; Dex the Bilby – another crazy cool adventure with the added bonus of helping the threatened bilbies from invaded species.

Visit Lauren at her websiteLBE Hackney.com

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THE LOLLY SHOP is available for purchase through: Lauren’s SHOP | Amazon (Book 1) | Amazon (Book 2)Booktopia | Local and independent book stores

Your Chance to WIN The Lolly Shop is the Sweetest Thing!

Click here to enter for a chance to WIN a copy of BOTH Books 1 and 2 in The Lolly Shop series!

Join in the magic with Lauren Hackney and her deliciously sweet chapter book adventure, The Lolly Shop, ready to create mayhem across the blogosphere at the following media sites…

Organised by Books On Tour PR & Marketing. Email: info.booksontour@gmail.com

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