Imaginary Fred: Win a Harper Collins Book Bundle

Nov 18, 2016 by

If you fancy a genuinely good read this season, for gifts or for your own children, do take a look at the fabulous Imaginary Fred by Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer.  Also, you can win a Harper Collins UK Book Bundle.

Win a fabulous range of books, for various ages and reading abilities: Imaginary Fred The Incredible Book Eating Boy, The Midnight Gang, Three Little Monkeys and How The Grinch Stole Christmas.  UK and Ireland 18+ entries only.  Enter with Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



When I first read Imaginary Fred I was reminded of an essay I had read, long before my children were born.  Way back in 2002, in the raw, post 9/11 world, The New Yorker printed a desperately needed essay by Adam Gopnik about his daughter Olivia called Mr. Ravioli.  Mr. Ravioli was Olivia’s imaginary friend who was always too busy to play.  Charlie Ravioli was unreachable on phone, you had to leave him voicemail messages; he was constantly in meetings, working and generally unavailable for playdates.  When Charlie Ravioli’s imaginary assistant came into existence, Gopnik rang his sister, a developmental psychologist, who told him it was time to leave New York City; his daughter’s imaginary friends represented all that is wrong with busy, metropolitan life for a child.  After further investigation Gopnik concludes that Charlie Ravioli represented something essential about New York … its a great essay and you can read the summary in The New Yorker.


Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer’s Imaginary Fred is the exact opposite foil to Charlie Ravioli.  Imaginary Fred is a highly engaged, responsive, sensitive, deeply empathetic and genuinely caring (nearly) true-blue friend.  The story is warm and inspiring, it is instructional on the nature of friendship and how it changes and evolves without being preachy or diluting the quality of the storytelling.  There are good twists and turns, you are genuinely drawn to Fred.


I found this story so compelling I thought that it could be good to use with older children.  I don’t regularly discuss this, but when I am not running my kids around and working on London Baby and Kids, I teach Language Arts.  I read Imaginary Fred and part of the Charlie Ravioli essay to my year 6 creative writing students.  I then had them create their own imaginary friend as part of a writing assignment.  They were told to create the most fantastic friend, thinking through what traits they would like their friend to have.  They then brainstormed adventures they could go on with their imaginary friends.  Kids were dreaming of running away on the QE2, of riding around on motorbikes, swinging through the branches of rainforests and more.  Imaginary Fred is more than a good story, it is quality children’s literature that will leave your children richer for the experience of having read it.


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  1. Carole Paton

    My best friend is a unique bundle of terrified introvert and outrageous extrovert with the biggest heart of anyone I know.

  2. claire little

    my favourite friend is completely genuine

  3. Karl Borowy

    great to know hell to live with

  4. claire fawkner

    I see my favourite friend most days as her son is in my daughters class. We regularly go for coffee and have so much fun! She is the best!

  5. My favourite and best friend is my little girl she always makes me feel happy with her funny little sayings and energy.

  6. andrea e

    my mom is my best friend, she is always 100% honest and is so wise.

  7. Jean Vaughan

    My best friend is my 68 year old teddy bear Ruth. She has shared all my ups and downs, my worries, my achievements. Very much my confidante when nobody else would do.


    My friend is always with me when I need her.

  9. Joanna Kasznicki

    My best friend is my sister. Even if we argue a sisters love will make sure everythings ok.

  10. Jamie Millard

    Everything i want in a friend – same sense of humour, totally bonkers and always up for a laugh and an adventure.

  11. RACHAEL O'Brien

    Great blog ! Have entered competition would love to win some books thanks for chance ! Xx

  12. Kyomi Johnson

    My best friend is my dad he’s one in a million. He has been such a great help and support since restarting chemotherapy treatment I couldn’t ask for anything else in a friend and dad.

  13. Lisa Mauchline

    My favourite friend is mad (in a good way) and loves bacon

  14. Emma Davison

    My bestie isn’t perfect but she is always there to lend a sympathetic ear or help out.

  15. Sarah Hughes

    The one person I can trust with anything

  16. Jill Donaldson

    My best friend is quirky as she is fun and she is the only person I know who is scared of scarecrows and she managed to find a scarecrow festival lol

  17. Sarah Lee

    My favourite friend lives far away but is always there if i need her at the end of a telephone

  18. Sarah Wilson

    My favourite friend has been my best friend for 28 years!

  19. Joanne Austin

    My favourite friend is very positive and always sees the best in people !

  20. Alexandra Olesiak

    my friend is crazy, honest and genuine

  21. Meena Hindmarch

    My hubbie is my best friend ❤️

  22. Karen Howden

    My friend will do anything for anyone, she is so kind and loving. She has fought cancer, cared for her late mother right to the end, and is now once again fighting cancer. She is such a good friend to me I will do anythign for her I can to help

  23. samantha buntain

    my friend is always there for me no matter what we do everything together even crazy stuff its hard to tell who is the most crazy at times.

  24. Gemma Cook

    I’ve known my BFF Megan since we were born. We are about to celebrate 30 years of friendship this Christmas!
    I love her to the moon and back and trust her with my life. She is like a sister to me.

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