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Fintan Fedora: The World’s Worst Explorer, by Clive Goddard, was recommended to me in a bookshop as I was browsing the children’s section and my mother and I were both looking for books to entrance and entertain boy readers.


On the recommendation of a lovely lady who was doing the same thing, I picked up a copy and brought it home to road test on my tame, eight year old son.

We enjoyed it very much.

Fintan Fedora is the youngest of three children, son of the self made millionaire owner of a biscuit empire. Fintan’s parents despair of him and his clumsy ways, and the book opens as they announce that Fintan is to have no input whatsoever into the family business. Fintan is quite hurt by this until he is distracted by an article in his adventuring magazine that tells the story of what has been up to now, presumed the mythical chocoplum fruit, from Brazil.

Fintan decides to go to Brazil and find this fruit. His parents are delighted he has something to do, and send along Fintan’s butler, Gribley, to keep him out of trouble.

Gribley has his work cut out. Fintan is the most clueless, accident prone half wit to walk the earth, and merrily sets off to Brazil leaving a trail of destruction in his path.

Oscar loved this book because it was so very, very silly. Each episode where Fintan makes a blunder, or has an accident, or causes someone else to have an accident is milked for all its worth by the author, squeezing every drop of farcical, slapstick humour he can from it.

It is so silly, it cannot fail to make you laugh, and even hard bitten old boots like me found it very amusing. It is a great read for confident readers aged 7 and up. It would also make a fabulous bed time story to share with younger children who will revel in Fintan’s hapless adventures.

Written by Clive Goddard, probably better known for his illustration of the ever popular Horrible Histories series, there is a sequel already available, and hopefully more to come.