Monty's Island: Beady Bold and the Yum-Yams by Emily Rodda

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Illus. by Lucinda Gifford. Allen and Unwin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760529864.
(Age: 6-9) Highly recommended. This is the second book in the Monty's Island series. Monty lives on a desert island with his friends and companions who are clearly introduced visually, early in the book. They are full of excitement as trading day has arrived and they eagerly anticipate the arrival of Jolly's Bring and Buy ship. Each quirky character has special items to trade and they set off for the long walk to the only safe landing place on the island. Along the way they hear the ship's horn and are surprised at how early it is. However it is not Jolly's ship but Bold's Better Bring and Buy ship. From the very start of the trading process something does not seem to be right and Monty and his friends are apprehensive about the trade transactions taking place. After the Islanders are given Yum-Yams, chaos descends, and it is up to Monty and his friends to solve the problem or they may be an environmental catastrophe on Monty's and the neighbouring islands.
Emily Rodda has written an entertaining and exciting story. She has a sound understanding of what young children enjoy and what they will be entertained by. The clever illustrations by Lucinda Gifford complement the text perfectly and will keep the young reader engaged to the end. This series would be an excellent read-aloud for classroom teachers or parents reading to children at home as the chapters are short and full of meaningful interaction. The third book, Monty's Island: Elvis Eager and the Golden Egg, will be released in January 2021. Themes: Desert Island, Friendship, Fantasy, Animals, Trading, Adventure, Excitement.
Kathryn Beilby