When the Secret Park Awakes, Beware of Shabalu

Age 6

144 pages

173 x 245 mm


  • Children's Novel

Oliver Scherz, Daniel Napp

When the Secret Park Awakes, Beware of Shabalu


In a nutshell:

How quiet and enchanting it is here! Mo and his sister Kaja and brother Jonathan get goose bumps as they climb into the abandoned amusement park. Around them there is nothing but empty shooting galleries, an overgrown merry-go-round and an old Ferris wheel. Suddenly Mo sees an old castle in the distance. The children are attracted to it as if by magic. For it is in this castle that Shabalu lives, and it is he who pulls all the strings …



There it is, utterly enchanting, the deserted amusement park. Jonathan, Mo and their sister Kaja peer over the fence in curiosity. Through the bushes they can see the Ferris wheel, abandoned shooting galleries and a tent. Five-year-old Mo can hardly contain his curiosity and climbs over the fence. "What a little hero you are!" his sister Kaja whispers to him as she tousles his hair after following him with Jonathan.

The first thing they stumble over is a dinosaur lying in the middle of the path as if it has only just fallen over. It is hollow and the three children have huge fun clambering about inside. "Moooooohooooo … Joooonaaaaaathaaaaaaaaaaan … Kaaaajaaaaaaa!" their calls echo round the hollow body of the dinosaur. They feel as if they were dragon slayers and simply laugh away their fears.

Then they follow the rusty tracks of an old railway, past an overgrown merry-go-round and an old roller coaster until they suddenly find themselves in the middle of a goldmining town. They very cautiously enter the saloon. There is a thick layer of dust on the bar. Only the half-full glass standing on it doesn't seem to be the slightest bit dusty. Then the children discover a sheriff leaning against the bar and drinking out of the glass. He looks strangely wooden, like a shooting gallery figure. He snaps at them that they have no business to be there. Then he jumps onto his horse and rides off. The three children gape after him in amazement. Then they come across three brightly coloured merry-go-round horses that seem to be alive. Seven-year-old Kaja climbs onto one of them and her brothers follow her example and they all ride after the sheriff.

He is busy trying to catch a couple of dinosaurs that have broken through the scenery wall and have to be taken back to the World of Dinosaurs. Jonathan helps the sheriff and as a reward is appointed assistant sheriff.

The sheriff then takes Jonathan, Kaja and Mo to the Land of Giants, where they follow a temptingly delicious smell. In a forest clearing dwarfs and giants are queuing up in front of a candy floss wagon. When each of them has had their turn, there are threads of candy floss hanging on all the trees like spiders' webs and the siblings can help themselves.

When dusk falls, Jonathan, Kaja and Mo go and sit by a bonfire with the sheriff for the night. The sheriff tells them that the amusement park has been turned upside down ever since Shabalu – a plastic clown that used to be hanging at the park entrance – has taken charge of everything. He has taken over the fairy-tale castle, where he is getting up to all sorts of mischief.

For the three children it is a clear-cut case: they have to find Shabalu. When the squeaking Ferris wheel wakes them in the middle of the night, they steal off and follow the path to Shabalau's castle. Shabalu is crazy, chummy and self-indulgent and the two boys and their sister are fascinated by him. There is everything in his castle children could possibly dream of: sweets galore, toys as far as the eye can see. But when Jonathan, Kaja and Mo have had enough and want to go home again, Shabalu won't let them go again. For Shabalu is like a child who can't let go of anything once it has got hold of it. He wants the three children, his wonderful visitors – and he wants to keep them forever.

Not until the sheriff has successfully conquered Shabalu's castle do Jonathan, Kaja and Mo find their way out of the world of the amusement park.


  • An awesome new book for children by bestselling Spiegel author Oliver Scherz
  • Fast-paced story with a likeable brother and sister trio
  • Fantasy world packed with cowboys, Indians, dinosaurs, giants and dwarfs
  • Brilliantly staged by bestselling illustrator Daniel Napp

Sold to:
China, Taiwan (Chinese)