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Amazon Vine gave me the chance to review Andy Riley’s new book: King Flashypants and the Evil Emperor. It looked like just the sort of book my son would love, so I snapped their hand off.

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It is, for those of you who read this kind of thing, in much the same vein as the Mr. Gum books by Andy Stanton, and the Stinkbomb & Ketchup Face stories by John Dougherty. It was particularly reminiscent of the Stinkbomb & Ketchup Face stories.

The book is great for the reluctant or transitional reader. It has simple, easy to read chapters, larger than average font and lots of white space on the page. There are tons of cartoon style illustrations to break up the texts and lots of nice jokes and ideas in the illustrations, also by Andy Riley.

The story is about Edwin, a young king who rules his small kingdom with compassion, a lack of sense and an enormous amount of free chocolate. His subjects all love him until the day the money, and consequently the chocolate runs out. They depose Edwin with the help of the evil Emperor Nurbison, who rules the kingdom next door.  It is up to Edwin to reclaim his country and save his people.

The book is funny and fast paced. It’s a dream to read alone or to share with children, and they will love all the characters of which there are a lot of stand outs, who will hopefully become regulars as the series progresses. I particularly liked Jill, the grown up lady who actually runs the country for Edwin, and Emperor Nurbison and his patented evil laugh.

Brilliant for 7-12 year olds. Particularly recommended for boys and reluctant readers. The story is a stand alone adventure, but there is the promise of more to come at the end of the book. It is to be hoped they continue. They’d make a valuable addition to a primary school library or reading corner.

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