Fizzlebert Stump - The boy who cried Fish by A.F. Harrold
Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408842461.
(Ages: 7 to 12) Recommended. Fizzlebert Stump lives in a circus where he has an act involving sticking his head in the mouth of a very old lion. His best friend Wystan the Bearded Boy does an act with a sealion called Fish. One day Fish goes missing, and the boys believe he has been stolen to perform in the aquarium near the beach. When they break into the aquarium though, they encounter another mystery - all the fish keep disappearing. Through their adventures we meet a range of interesting characters, from the piratical owner of the aquarium Admiral Spratt-Haddock, to an overly-friendly crocodile. The boys need to explore the aquarium and their own circus family to discover that all is not what it seems, and that sometimes people will to to extreme lengths to appear something they are not.
This is the third title in the Fizzlebert Stump series, and again A.F. Harrold has created a world of eccentricity, fantastical characters, mystery, and all the nonsensical ramblings which middle primary school children love. The way he plays with words and incorporates himself as the self-deprecating author will have children in fits of laughter and wanting to re-read this over and over. Even the entertaining little doodles and illustrations by Sarah Horne keep you turning the pages to see what the characters will get up to next. A very enjoyable and light-hearted book.