Review Blog

Jan 02 2017

Fizzlebert Stump and the great supermarket showdown by A. F. Harrold

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Fizzlebert Stump series, bk. 6. Ill. by Sarah Horne. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408869451
(Age: 7+) A.F. Harrold's Fizzlebert Stump comical stories come packed with quirky individuals, farcical situations, general silliness and mad mayhem. We begin with Chapter 4; luckily, the narrator consistently interrupts with stacks of irrelevant and irreverent background information! Fizzlebert Stump formerly lived in a travelling circus with his clown mother and strongman father. Now Fizzlebert or Fizz to his friends is a strong twelve-year-old boy currently working as a bag boy for tyrannical Mr. Pinkbottle's superstore. Fortunately, the tale returns to Chapter 1 and all is explained - the Ringmaster has sold the circus and all of the circus performers under contract are given new jobs in the store. Fizz overhears Mr. P's diabolical plans to blackmail the Ringmaster and disband the circus.
Fizz's life becomes a game of cat and mouse, locked up in the cold room, forced to deliver bags of shopping, an interlude in a library, listening in on conversations and being forced to wear a gorilla suit and clean the floors with a small brush and pan. Providentially, Fizz has loyal friends, Kevin who switches places with him and Alice who is a strongperson for Neil Coward's Famous 'Cicrus'. What a fun ending, even the police join the performers to put on a show.
Sarah Horne's black and white cartoons enliven the pandemonium, there is Madame Plume de Matant's flatulent explosion at the cheese counter, Alice's burglar under Mr. Pinkbottle's desk and Fizz's reunion with Fish the sea lion. Fizzlebert Stump and the great supermarket showdown is the grand finale to this comical series, just right for young readers who enjoy slapstick humour.
Rhyllis Bignell

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