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Shirley Hughes’ and Clara Vuillamy’s collaboration: ‘Dixie O’ Day: In The Fast Lane’ got  wonderful reviews both on this site, from a guest blogger, and from my blogging friend Bunny Lovell.

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There is now a second book in the series: ‘Dixie O’ Day and The Great Diamond Robbery.’ 

Like the first book in the series, the production values are very high and the book is an absolute pleasure to own. An A5 sized hardback book, easy for small hands to hold, it has beautiful illustrations by Vuillamy on every page in a palette of black, white and reds that give the book a real cartoon strip feel.

The book is broken down into short chapters, ideal for children who want to mark off how far they have read and set themselves achievable reading targets, or just nicely sized bedtime story chunks for parents to read to children.

Extras include interviews with Dixie O’ Day and his companion Percy, interviews with Shirley Hughes and Clara Vuillamy, maps and puzzles, as well as details of the website dedicated to Dixie O’ Day where you can find out more about Dixie and Percy’s adventures.

The story tells of how Dixie and Percy decide to get away for a few days for a bit of peace and quiet. They go to the Hotel Splendide at Brightsea, but far from relaxing they are caught up in a jewel heist and end up saving a local, Mr. Canteloe, from being washed out to sea.

The book is perfect for transitional readers, aged 7-9 and younger readers who enjoy an old fashioned adventure story being read to them. The vocabulary is quite old fashioned and can be challenging for some children, but this could actually give children a chance to discuss the book with whoever is listening to them read, and also give them a chance to expand their vocabulary.

It is old fashioned and charming, and I loved the retro, cartoon style illustrations by Vuillamy. I look forward to reading the next adventure of Dixie and Percy, which is called, ‘Dixie O’ Day: Up Up and Away’ and which you get a sneak preview of at the end of this book.

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