Review Blog

Feb 06 2017

The complete adventures of Figaro and Rumba by Anna Fienberg

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Ill. by Stephen Michael King. Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760292997
(Age: 6-8) Highly recommended. Author Anna Fienberg and illustrator Stephen Michael King's The Complete Adventures of Figaro and Rumba is a celebration of friendship, food, music and adventure.
In the first story The Crocodile Cafe, we meet Figaro a lively, happy-go-lucky dog who lives with his best friend Rumba the cat, who misses his home in Cuba, and puts all his energy into a cleaning their house. When the two friends finally catch the Very Fast Train after a few wild adventures, they meet a Cuban smooth-talking, conga-playing crocodile who owns a cafe. Along the way the two friends learn some life-lessons about trust and rescue some Cuban felines the wicked crocodile had catnapped.
Fortuitous circumstances occur and Figaro and Rumba take over the ownership of the crocodile's cafe renaming it The Cool Cat Cafe. Figaro finds the never-ending music rehearsals at the cafe difficult especially when lead singer Marta continually points out his difficulties joining in with the group. He chats to Ronaldo the sloth who cleans the building and discusses the mysterious stranger he sees and hears at night. One day, Figaro leaves the cafe behind and heads off for a big adventure with little ginger cat Dora in Martha's classic Catmobile. After a fabulous drive in the open top car along the beach road, an unfortunate accident happens. Along the way Figaro discovers a new musical talent, clears up the mystery of the grey coloured stranger and enjoys the Fiesta filled with singing, salsa and Cuban food at the Cool Cats Cafe. Stephen Michael King's colourful, expressive illustrations bring the unique characters to life, he vividly shows their expressions, emotions, drams and triumphs.
This junior fiction novel is a great light-hearted story for young readers beginning their chapter-book journey. Anna Fienberg's Figaro and Rumba stories are perfect for this young audience, with relatable characters, fun adventures and a celebration of music, singing and dancing.
Rhyllis Bignell

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