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The Ostrich of Pudding Lane by Jeremy Strong was sent to me by one of my favourite children’s publishers, Barrington Stoke, in exchange for my honest opinion.


I was delighted to get this book. The Ostrich of Pudding Lane is actually three books by Jeremy Strong in one volume. I’ve already read one of the books and reviewed it on here. I really enjoyed it, and was thrilled to read two more.

This is one of Barrington Stokes’ books for older readers, from their Conkers series.

It has wonderful black and white illustrations by Sarah Horne. I particularly love the cover picture of the Ostrich, peering between her own legs. She looks exactly as mad as she is in the book, and her eyelashes are to die for.

The end papers of the book are a repeating pattern of ostrich foot prints, which I also thought was great fun.

The end of the book has a whole series of activities and puzzles based on the book, including some truly terrible jokes which my son, Oscar, really enjoyed tormenting us with at the dinner table.

The book tells the story of how Ross and his friend Katie end up being responsible for Mad Iris, an escapee from a local ostrich farm who makes her way to Pudding Lane school and creates absolute havoc.

The first section focuses on how Mad Iris arrives. Then there is a section about Mad Iris helping with a football match against a rival school, and finally one where Mad Iris comes face to face with the school inspectors. This is my favourite part.

The book is typical of the excellent, fast paced, quirky stories you expect from Jeremy Strong. It is also very funny. It also has Barrington Stoke’s dyslexia friendly font and wide spaced, larger type to help struggling readers. Short, achievable chapter lengths and great illustrations throughout help to break up the text.

I recommend this for boys and girls. For independent readers I’d suggest it would suit 7-10 year olds. It would be a really fun book to share in school or at story time at home.

You can read the first chapter here.