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Meet the Family!

Laura Wood Poppy Pym illustration by Beatrice Bencivenni

This amazing picture of Madame Pym's Travelling Circus is by Beatrice Bencivenni, who drew all of the pictures in 'Poppy Pym and the Pharaoh's Curse'. Isn't it brilliant? That's Poppy there in the middle sitting in Boris's hand.If you click on the picture you can zoom in on all the brilliant details.

Now, Let me introduce you to the rest of Poppy's family!


Pym. (Or Madame Petronella Pym if we’re being proper. Pym says that if your name was Petronella you’d go by your last name too, and I think she’s probably right.)

  • Occupation: Ringleader, fortune-teller, and trapeze artist.

  • Likes: Ghost stories, strawberry ice cream, monster trucks.

  • Interesting facts: Has one good eye that seems to notice everything and one bad eye that screws up a bit and can see into the future. Pym says that’s one eye for looking out and one for looking in.



  • Occupation: Fire-eater and snake-charmer

  • Likes: Shouting, her pet snake (Otis), black coffee.

  • Interesting facts: Used to be a world-renowned ballroom dancer and won lots of prizes for her tango.



  • Occupation: Lion-tamer

  • Likes: Moustache wax, lions, tweed.

  • Interesting facts: Real name is Lord Reginald Felix Anthony Sylvester Lucas, the fourteenth Earl of Burnshire. But he felt that Luigi was a better name for a lion-tamer.



  • Occupation: Lion.

  • Likes: roaring, belly rubs, cats (being friends with them, not eating them).

  • Interesting facts: Favourite toys are Fanella’s shoes. This causes some minor disagreements.



  • Occupation: Tightrope walker, magician’s assistant, inventor.

  • Likes: Knitting, baking, astrophysics.

  • Interesting Facts: Used to work for MI5 (very hush hush of course). Rumour has it she still does some work for them sometimes but that information is highly classified and I’m afraid you don’t have clearance.



  • Occupation: Strongman

  • Likes: Sprouts, romance novels, protein shakes.

  • Interesting facts: Can lift a car over his head. Favourite film is ‘Kitten Fairy Magic 3: Return of the Snuggle Monster.’ He always cries when the snuggle monster finally meets his dad.


 The Magnificent Marvin.

  • Occupation: Magician

  • Likes: Dougie Valentine novels, writing messages in secret code, setting up elaborate booby traps.

  • Interesting facts: married to his assistant Doris for 35 years. She invents his mind-bending magic tricks. One time accidentally pulled an octopus out of his magic hat. (But he’d rather not talk about it.) Also one time pulled a beautiful baby out of his hat who happened to be me. (He does like to talk about that one.)


 Tina and Tawna.

  • Occupation: Acrobats and horseback riders.

  • Likes: finishing each others sentences, sequins, pretzels (eating them and bending into the shape of them – sometimes both at the same time.)

  • Interesting facts: Identical twins, their parents were famous Chinese acrobats who taught them everything they know. They like doing duets at Karaoke but always try to sing the same part.


Chuckles and BoBo.

  • Occupation: Clowns

  • Likes: Balloon modelling, salt and vinegar crisps (BoBo), the exquisite melancholy of a lost sock (Chuckles)

  • Interesting facts: Chuckles, the sad clown, often finds himself overcome by emotion and so communicates through mime. BoBo, the happy clown, dyes her hair a different colour every week.


Sharp-Eye Sheila.

  • Occupation: Knife-thrower

  • Likes: country music, noodles, popping bubble wrap. (With her knife. While it’s taped to a spinning target. And she is blindfolded.)

  • Interesting facts: Plays the banjo and has her own band called Sharp-Eye Sheila and the Rootin’ Tootin’ Fun Lovin’ Wallabies.


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