Review Blog

Mar 30 2020

TC and the Curse of the Exploding Doll by Dave Hartley

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Illus. by Peter Baldwin. Omnibus Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781742991887.
(Age: 7+ years) Recommended. TC and the Curse of the Exploding Doll by Dave Hartley is the second novel featuring TC and his best mate Lockie. The boys live in Warner Creek, a small country town in Australia, and spend their days either accidentally creating mischief or trying remedy the mischief they have made. Added to this mix is a gang led by a Year 6 boy Mason who constantly bully TC and Lockie and make their life difficult. After the first three pages of TC and the Curse of the Exploding Doll, the reader knows the setting, the characters and the plot and is in for an action-packed adventure featuring a Chloe Doll, an angry sister, a forbidden waterhole and a mysterious bunyip. When the local paper reports on the possible sighting of a bunyip at the waterhole, TC asks Nan and Pa about the sighting. They are genuinely afraid of the bunyip and order TC to stay away from the waterhole.
The author gives a detailed explanation of bunyips to his readers and Pa tells TC "they are part of our land and should be left alone in peace." Of course Nan and Pa do not realize that TC and Lockie have already lost a doll in the waterhole after completing a science experiment and there are severe and embarrassing consequences for Lockie if the doll is not replaced by the end of the week. The boys begin collecting tyres to earn a significant amount of money to buy a new doll and stumble upon a secret that Mason and his gang are putting together. Needless to say TC with the best of intentions falls prey to a dangerous situation and is rescued by Pa and Uncle Albert.
The illustrations by Peter Baldwin complement the text perfectly.
This is a humorous and enjoyable read that boys in particular will relate to. Themes: Boys, Friendship, Bunyips, Aboriginal Culture, Danger, Bullies, Humour.
Kathryn Beilby

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