The old music box has been carefully handed down through Leo's family for hundreds of years. Painted scenes of villages, mysterious forests, a castle on a hill and a queen in a long blue gown decorate its sides. An astounding secret is hidden beneath its gleaming black lid. There are three rules to the family's ancient music box: Wind the box three times only. Never shut the box when the music is playing. Never move the box before the music stops.
Now it is Leo's music box, and although he respects the rules, his least favourite cousin, Mimi Langlander, does not. When stubborn cousin Mimi winds the box four times, suddenly the paintings on its side come to life and a powerful witch is released. Leo's ordered life is changed forever as he and Mimi plunge together into a thrilling quest in the fantastic world of Rondo.Now it's up to Leo and Mimi to stop the witch, if only they can find the key to the music box — and the magical world it controls.
* "Rodda liberally sprinkles nursery-rhyme references and fairy-tale motifs among her own fresh details to create a splendidly vivid world." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Rodda fills the cousins' quest with image-rich prose and compelling action...the world of Rondo is an engagingly eclectic mix of fairy-tale figures and memorable new wonders. This warm fantasy presents a fresh score of thwarting evil, strengthening family ties, and achieving personal growth, and questors who have recently returned from the wardrobe or Gardner's Into the Woods will be eager to turn the key and slip into the music box." — The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Rodda keeps the pace brisk and the plot turns frequent..." — Booklist