The Bloodhound Boys: The Monster Truck Tremor Dilemma by Andrew Cranna

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Walker Books 2014. ISBN 9781922179326
This action packed graphic novel is the second adventure for The Bloodhound Boys, Rocky Werewolf, Vince Vampire and their sidekick Snake. They enter a monster truck race along with competitors like 'Evil Knievel Weevils' 'Zombie Slugs' driving 'Spitball' and 'Dwayne the Brain and his Minion Monkeys'. The prize is a cup of 'truck blood' (otherwise known as oil) but to win, the competitors have to race through the bottomless 'Ouch Ravine'. The Bloodhound Boys survive sabotage, a near death crash and being saved by a pair of giant underpants, only to encounter their owner. They escape the giant but nearly starve to death before encountering the earth eating Worgon consuming everything in its path. The story is certainly action packed and the dynamic black and white illustrations keep our attention firmly on the page. The language is playful including puns and jokes while the underlying message of the importance of friends and working together is so embedded that everyone ends up understanding one another better; no bad guys, just the misunderstood. Primary students ready to expand their reading will enjoy the clever language while the great illustrations move the story on to its gripping conclusion. Andrew Cranna is a teacher and artist based in Sydney and his monsters subtly reinforce a range of very human values. Rated 9/10 by a nine year old reader, I enjoyed it too.
Sue Speck