The Hidden Creatures of Hackney
The Hidden Creatures of Hackney by local author Ben Eady
Get ready for an adventure!
The Hidden Creatures of Hackney is a story seen through the eyes of Kiran and Karma, as they explore their neighbourhood in search of a hidden magical world. The journey begins when the children find a map whilst playing in Granny’s attic. The map includes instructions for making devices called “Imagi-scopes”. Using these devices and through the power of imagination, they can see and interact with otherwise invisible magical creatures who inhabit each location.
Along the way, the children enrage a squirrel druid, are nearly kidnapped by hairy Vikings, avoid being turned into fairies by a devious fox, and save their toes from being eaten by tiny aquatic tigers. There’s more to discover as they explore this make-believe world, eventually arriving at a strange fancy dress funfair, which seems entangled with the magical places Kiran and Karma have discovered whilst on their adventure.
The Hidden Creatures of Hackney is a fantasy-adventure for developing readers aged 5-10, and is inspired by Scandinavian picture books, which combine vibrant imagery with longer copy to encourage children who are moving out of picture books but aren’t quite ready for chapter books.
The result is a bit of a hybrid: A hero’s journey, written in verse, with a hint of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a smidge of The Hobbit, a touch of The Gruffalo and a pinch of Pokémon GO.
“My goodness The Hidden Creatures of Hackney is a clever book.
What Benjamin Eady has done is produce the perfect blend of image and text to reach so many young readers. Visually The Hidden Creatures of Hackney looks like a story for middle grade children but the rhyming text accompanying the images is accessible so that this is a story emergent readers and older more reluctant readers will adore…
It’s about childhood fun, fantasy and adventure. It’s a story that stimulates imagination and provides enjoyment and entertainment for children. It’s colourful in appearance and content, so that children are given real joy in reading this book. Benjamin Eady’s The Hidden Creatures of Hackney is highly impressive and I really recommend it.”
Review by award winning book reviewer, blogger and Literary Judge – Linda Hill, writer of Linda's Book Bag.
Ben Eady is a creative director, writer, and illustrator living in Stoke Newington, Hackney. He’s worked for 20 years producing award winning print, digital and video media. A keen adventurer, Ben has travelled, lived, and worked in over 50 countries. He’s also the doting dad of a boy named Kiran, the inspiration for one of the main characters in The Hidden Creatures of Hackney. Creating this book has been a 2-year labour of love, stemming from real father and son adventures during the pandemic, as together they explored North East London’s secret natural wonders, playing make-believe games, and inventing magical worlds.