A.F Harrold · Children · Stand Alone

The Imaginary by A.F Harrold


Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect.

Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up? (goodreads.com). 


imaginaryWhen I saw this book at my local library it looked like a rather interesting book. The design itself was quite spectacular with illustrations on many of the pages, some spreading or weaving from one page to another. I felt like the design of the book is what all books should be like. Absolutely beautiful and well done! This is one of those books where you need a physical copy to thoroughly enjoy the illustrations and design. It won’t be anywhere near as nice in an e-book.


The plot moves along at a great pace! It starts off with us getting to really know Amanda and learning just a bit about her imaginary friend. There isn’t a lot of action in the book, but it is engaging because of the mystery and suspense of figuring out who Mr. Bunting is and trying to escape from him. There was plenty of detail and it was very easy to follow. Children will also love the accompanying illustrations that really make the story come to life.

This book is great for children and I believe most of them will be able to relate to the story, especially those who have great imaginations since this is the focus of the book. I liked that even though Amanda had an imaginary friend, she knew that he was imaginary, and I loved that her mother was so understanding. She would even acknowledge that he was there and set a place for Rudger at the table quite unlike another mother in the book. It is also really funny when Rudger is imagined by another girl as a girl instead of a boy. He was utterly confused and didn’t like the change very much. 🙂

I should most definitely mention that the story is actually quite dark for a children’s book, mainly because Mr. Bunting and his imaginary friend are very creepy. The illustrations also portray this quite well. I believe that it would me most appropriate for older children (10+) or ones that are not easily scared. Could be really fun to read together! Also, this is a stand-alone book and I don’t tend to enjoy them that much because I am always left wanting more, but that wasn’t the the case with this book. The story was so perfect and I just loved the ending that I don’t need anything more.


Even though Amanda became a secondary character in the book I still really liked her. She is a tom boy who loves to get dirty, has a great bubbly personality, and an awesome imagination. She is also a little self-centered and doesn’t realize that she had hurt Rudger’s feelings, but that behavior I think is pretty typical for a child her age. She even changes a bit throughout the book and learns how important her friend really is to her.

Rudger is the main character of the book, but we don’t really learn that much about him. However, I still found myself really liking him and because he was Amanda’s imaginary friend I figured he was a lot like her (the way she would want him to be). I ended up being really scared for him and hoped that he would be able to find Amanda again and not Fade away or get eaten by Mr. Bunting.

Mr. Bunting and his imaginary friend are the definition of creepy. From the beginning his friend reminded me of the girl from the movie The Ring. EEEK! The illustrations really portray how strange they are and the descriptions of them are just incredible. It’s an interesting part of the book!


The writing was very easy to follow and perfect for children to understand. The amount of detail with the accompanying illustrations really brings the story to life. Not to mention the incredible design of the book that I still can’t get over. It’s just beautiful!

Overall Thoughts

A highly imaginative, engaging, creepy book that had my attention from the very first page. I highly recommend it to anyone 10 and older! Adults and children alike will love this book!

My rating: 5/5 stars!

View this book on Amazon and Goodreads!

Check out these reviews from fellow bloggers!

A review by The Bibliomaniac (awesome pictures of the illustrations of the book included!)

A review by A Reader of Fictions

A review by Alexa Loves Books

A review by Fangirl nation

*photo provided by goodreads.com


2 thoughts on “The Imaginary by A.F Harrold

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