Children's Book of the Month: The Phantom Lollipop Man

Book: The Phantom Lollipop Man! by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham
Age category: 7-11

The gang in 4J are back! With their amazing talent for stumbling across mysteries in their own school yard, Izzy, Zach, Maisie and Jodie gather clues from the all-knowing Office Ladies, their Librarian and even a particularly hippie parent, in their quest to bust a particularly elusive ghost.

Each member has their own experience with the phantom – who is clearly the spooky spectre of their recently disappeared school lollipop man – and brings their own unique skill to solving their mystery behind the sightings. Maisie is an ace at distracting teachers (and eating cake at the same time), Jodie’s interview technique lets nothing slip by, Izzy spots the details the others miss, whilst Zach is master of technology.

Recently voted one of Dundee’s most influential women, award-winning author Pamela Butchart – who teaches philosophy to teenagers when not putting pen to paper – brings an energy and humour to her tall tales that is unmistakeable and a little addictive. A modern day version of the gang of pesky kids many parents grew up watching, this is one to be shared with all family members.

Q&A with Pamela Butchart

We have to ask - have you ever met a phantom (in cloud form or otherwise)? And is there a 'Butchart method' for communicating with phantoms?

I totally met a ghost in the toilets at my primary school when I was in P3 and it was GREEN and we called her the Green Lady and she lived in the last cubicle on the right. And if it was an emergency and all the other cubicles were taken you had to use her toilet and keep your eyes closed and wee SUPER FAST.

There is no 'Butchart' method for communicating with ghosts because I am absolutely one hundred per cent TERRIFIED of ghosts! Always have been. Eeeeek!!

What do you think are the essential tools for a team investigating a ghostly occurrence?

1. Tin foil shoes (in case the ghost leaves a PHANTOM ICE PUDDLE behind.
2. A camera (to catch ghostly shapes).
3. Blu-Tack (so you can make and wear Blu-Tack goggles (like Maisie does) if it all gets too scary.

Do you have a special chair (or den) that you like to sit in when you read?

YES! I have a special reading and writing shed in my garden. It has a bright yellow armchair, all my favourite books and a GLOWY T-Rex lamp in it.

Have you ever met an Office Lady who was wrong, or didn't know something?




We have 5 copies of The Phantom Lollipop Man! to be won - just answer the question below. The competition closes on Sunday 30 April 2018 at 5pm. All entrants must reside in the UK.

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