Review Blog

Jun 14 2016

The furball strikes back by Aaron Blabey

cover image

The bad guys, episode 3. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760157265
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Animals, Adventure, Heroism.  Subtitled, The furball strikes back, readers who laughed their way through Episode 2 with the break in at the Sunnyside Chicken Farm, will know that the owner, Doctor Rupert Marmalade, will be wreaking revenge upon our heroes. Led by Mr Wolf, the three other friends, Mr Snake, Mr Piranha and Legs have gone along with his plans of shrugging off their bad guy images by doing good deeds. So far this has not gone well, but releasing the chickens from the Stalag type chicken farm has at least gained them a host of friends, if only of the chicken variety.
But Doctor Marmalade is out for revenge and tricks them into coming to his lair where he captures them and ties them up, not knowing that Mr Piranha is still outside.
Blabey's graphic novel style, giving the story in short easily digested chapters full of laugh out loud cartoon images, will have readers grabbing this book from the shelf. The pages are full of movement as the characters pit their strengths against those of Doctor Marmalade, and the various styles used by comic writers shine out. Pages change from whole page illustrations to those where three or four lines of pictures are used while different fonts and font sizes are used, and some faces peer out at the reader with an intimate gaze. It adds up to a wholly fascinating story which furthers the adventures of the four heroes to the great enjoyment of the readers.
And of course, Episode 4 is coming as zombie kittens make their presence felt.
Fran Knight

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