Review Blog

Jun 12 2009

Curly saves Grandma's house by Sally Morgan, and Ambelin, Blaze and Ezekiel Kwaymullina

cover image

Ill. by Adam Hill
Random House, 2009. ISBN 978741662931
This middle primary novel is an easy read with large print and cartoonish pictures of magical creatures called Fents and Grents. The Fent called Pook, who looks like a long- haired furry seal, lives with Curly and was introduced in the first book, Curly and the Fent. It would help to have read this book first, but you will still discover that Pook has magic powers, eg inducing dreams in others, and is a rival of the nasty tricksters, the Grents. Both fantasy types are only seen by those with the Sight. The antics of these creatures are a subplot to the main themes of corruption at local government level and uniting divided families. Curly, about 10, learns that his grandmother is about to have her home bulldozed by the mayor who is going to sell the land for a marina and become rich. Curly sets out to thwart the scheme.
The family characters and Pook are vividly and realistically drawn, whilst the mayor and police seem stereotypes. The plot seems to be designed to create a political awareness amongst this age group, rather than realistically capture an event. This may be Sally's contribution, with the fun of the Fents and Gents perhaps coming from the children authors. Well written, its 'message' approach may limit its appeal, worthy though it is.
The book ends with a new crisis, so that you want to buy the next one to see what happens.
Kevyna Gardner

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