The Missing Barbegazi

Tessa discovers the healing power of wishes when she sets out to find a missing barbegazi, said to live in the mountains near her village. Meeting one is only the beginning of an adventure that unites generations and teaches Tessa that trust is at the heart of the best relationships.

A delightful story about families, love and learning that some secrets are best kept secret – forever.

The book was first published in October 2018 by Pushkin Press in the UK (left cover by Anna Morrison). A US version publishes in November 2019 by Jolly Fish Press (right cover by Aubrey Blackham/Sarah Taplin).

Read an extract of The Missing Barbegazi here.

You can buy The Missing Barbegazi at your local bookshop or here:

What people are saying:


“A surprising dual narrative recounts a tender, suspenseful adventure as Tessa helps rescue a snatched elf child”

Sunday Times, Children’s Books of the Year

“A fast-paced middle-grade fantasy, set amongst a backdrop of youth competitive skiing, with love for family as its core theme… Give to young readers with a higher-than-average reading level who want a magical tale.”

School Library Journal

“A fun and fast-paced adventure filled with heart and hope. A good choice for middle- grade readers who like their realism with a side of fantasy.”


“Beautiful and unusual… this unexpected and striking story is one to be savoured”

Sinéad O’Hart, author

“A magical, enchanting book… I loved it and was both charmed and moved by it, totally original.”

Piers Torday , author

“The Missing Barbegazi transported me back to the classics I loved as a child. Readers will be enchanted by this wintery modern-day fairy tale.”

Tara Gilboy, author

“A wintry wonderland of a book! Perfect for warming your heart as the seasons turn. I absolutely loved it”

Vashti Hardy, author

“An unusual, tender and adventurous dual-narrative story—by halfway through the book you’ll believe in the barbegazi yourself!”

Children’s Books Ireland

“A snow-sprinkled story that’s so beautifully told you’ll want to snuggle up with it all night. This deserves to be one of this winter’s wonders”

The Reader Teacher

“Eloquent and beautiful with the most delightful chapter headed illustrations. This is a forever book – one that you can read time and again for it is timeless, striking and heartwarming.”

Armadillo Magazine

My inspiration for the book

The Missing Barbegazi is set in St. Anton am Arlberg in the Austrian alps. When I had the idea for the book, my two sons were on a ski racing team there, and we spent every winter weekend on skis. I would watch them train and gaze out over the white wilderness and daydream about encounters with fantastical creatures. My admiration for the ski club kids, who show up for training in sub-zero temperatures and band together despite internal competition, was my starting point for the story. But I had not written more than one chapter before a strange furry elf—a barbegazi—appeared in the snow.