The Magic Campervan makes for a captivating read sure to delight children and adults alike. Join Merida, the magic flying campervan on a fantastic adventure to find the fastest slide in the world, which will fast become a household favourite.

Lisa Selvidge bought and renovated a ruin in the Monchique mountains and has been living in the Algarve for 18 years, affirming her love for the Algarve “It is the peace, the mountains, it’s the people, you live in a small community, everyone is very friendly and helpful, it is the best really.”

Lisa is a mother and alongside being an author of The Trials of Tricia Blake, A Divine War, Beyond the Sea - Stories from the Algarve, The Last Dance over the Berlin Wall and a Writing Fiction Workbook she also teaches online writing courses for the Universities of Oxford and York.


Lisa told me that her first children’s book was inspired by her travels in a campervan with her son Leo, “I was on the M25 in the UK and it took seven hours to do a 100-mile journey because it was bumper to bumper traffic and I just thought wouldn’t it be wonderful if this campervan could fly and that is where it sort of all grew from and it is all thanks to my son Leo that I bought the campervan and started travelling and writing the magic campervan.”

Lisa kindly shared the synopsis which reads: “Zoe and Vincent are close by in a park in Norwich. Zoe is avoiding her nagging mother and the school bully when she meets a strange girl who whizzes down a slide that shimmers gold, then blue, then purple. When Zoe tries it is like sliding through clay. Zoe pinches the girl and buries her shoes but the girl is strangely nice to her and leads her, Vincent and her mother to Merida where they are told they are about to go on the greatest journey of their lives.” The Magic Campervan boasts incredible reviews including one from author Ian Nettleton “Merida, the magic campervan, is a fantastic creation - a kind of modern-day Mary Poppins crossed with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A great mix of the magical and the everyday with a fine moral about transcending our pasts underlying it all. With wild travels, humour and a glorious journey, this is a story for children and adults to enjoy together. I loved it!”

Realistic magic

Lisa went on to explain that “the story encompasses a realistic magic and that she wanted to deal with different problems that arise.” Lisa effortlessly incorporates parenting issues from a child’s perspective with Merida, the campervan, being a mouthpiece for moral guidance, as well as giving constructive parenting advice along the way which I thought was done particularly well. Lisa further explained that “it focuses on non-traditional families and that we can expect the rest of the series to follow that line.” Adding that “I found there was a gap in the market and that children’s books narratives focus on the ‘perfect’ stereotypical families and I wanted to focus on the more realistic dynamics in families.” “I do try to things from a child’s point of view and most children are doing their best and sometimes they can’t do it for some reason. It is about seeing the world from children’s perspective and from a realistic point of view. Parents do get nasty with children and they do loose themselves.”

Five more books

Lisa told me that there will be five books to follow in the series and that she is currently finishing the second book which she revealed is based more in Portugal. Lisa told me that what readers can expect from the series is “different adventures in different countries and all the families are from more non-traditional families which is another thing I try to write about, to be inclusive of different types of families. The next book is about a gay couple from San Francisco and they come to Portugal with their little boy who wants to find a dinosaur fossil and they do and it is the predecessor to the wild boar.”

To purchase a copy of The Magic Campervan: The Forbidden Slide please visit where it is also available as a download. The Magic Campervan is also available in Portuguese whereby you can purchase a copy at Additionally, Lisa runs writer’s retreats so if you would like more information, please visit her website.


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes