The author of The Amazing Adventures of Skinny Finny and Super Spy Wobblebottom: The Crazy Christmas Caper, Andrew Guile, saw some of my reviews on Amazon, and emailed me hoping I’d be able to find time to review his debut novel for him in return for my honest opinion of it.
The book is a funny, fast paced spy adventure which will appeal to readers aged six to ten, particularly boys – although there is no reason why girls won’t like it too. I recommend it primarily for boys because it is dominated by a strong cast of male characters, in fact there is only one female character in it, who plays a very marginal role in proceedings. It is also full of elements that boys traditionally go for in their reading:
A supercharged plot in terms of pace.
It would work particularly well for reluctant readers for these reasons, and because the book comprises of short, easy to read chapters, with plenty to grab the reader’s attention. It also has some excellent black and white line drawings by Curt Walstead to break the text up, and add to the humour of the story.
The book tells the story of twin brothers Skinny and Tubby Finny, the sons of two semi crazed inventors who live in a series of biospheres at the bottom of the ocean.
One Christmas, in a strange chain of events, Skinny and Tubby are left parentless and Christmasless, with Skinny vowing to find those responsible and take his revenge.
The plot is utterly ludicrous, a series of loosely connected events with little back story to give any sense of reality to the story at all. I suspect this matters very little to the target market readers, who will rejoice in the silly situations, daft events and the sheer speed at which the story ploughs on to the end.
I recommend this to confident readers who are ready to start reading for themselves, or as a ridiculous bed time story for younger children who will have no trouble at all following the story as you read it to them, as it is very much like reading aloud a cartoon plot.
My seven year old son is desperate to get his hands on this, particularly after he had read a few paragraphs over my shoulder while I was reading this for review purposes.
Although the plot uses Christmas as a focus, it is not just a story that can be read at Christmas, and I imagine, if your child falls for the story, it will be one of those tales they turn to over and over again as a funny, easy read that always raises a laugh.