Tuesday 14 May 2013

The Extincts by Veronica Cossanteli & illustrated by Steve Wells

The weird stuff all began with £3.72.
I didn’t know it was £3.72, of course, until I picked it up – a scattering of coins on a wet pavement – and counted it.
George Drake, it’s your lucky day! Three strikes at the Bumper Bowl with Josh and Matt – and now FREE MONEY!
Published by Chicken House May 2013
221 pages plus notes on the creatures
Summary from www.hive.co.uk
George loves to help out at hidden Wormestall Farm, even though it's full of extinctly scary creatures, like the dodo in the dog bed and the dinosaurs in the duck pond. When Mortifer the giant basilisk goes missing, it's up to George to find him before wicked taxidermist Diamond Pye can add to her stuffed animal collection ...
Reviewed by K. M. Lockwood
From the great green leg on the front to the glossary at the back, this book is deeply and intentionally silly. The daft artwork from Steve Wells suits it – you know what glorious nonsense you’re getting from the off.
I will warn you that there is one utterly dreadful joke in it – and several others of the so-bad-they’re-great type. The creatures – whether lingerlings like the aurochs Mrs Tuesday and Mrs Wednesday, or cryptids like Grissel the British Dragon – are a delight. And the villainness is truly horrid.
I should point out that there is peril and some pretty icky bits – but only the most sensitive of readers will find it upsetting. It is all rather slapstick and ends in a rather satisfying way – not unlike some Roald Dahl.
The addition of glossary – which sneaks some real facts in among all the fun - is a nice touch and having illustrations is great – more please, Chicken House. Most readers will grow fond of that odd bunch down at Wormestall Farm – it would be fun to read their further adventures in future. I won’t give spoilers but there is one mysterious character in particular many would like to know more about, I suspect.
Highly suitable for confident and un-squeamish readers of 7+ with a robust sense of humour. Definitely recommended for animal lovers and fans of zaniness (like me).


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