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Saturday, 26 March 2011

Casper Candlewack's in Death by Pigeon by Ivan Brett

Casper Candlewacks is the only boy with any sense in a village full of idiots! a hilarious debut novel from the funniest new voice in young fiction. But don't just take our word for it! Jeremy Strong has hailed it "a funny and engaging debut". Most villages have an idiot but Casper's village is full of them. So being bright makes poor Casper something of an outsider. When famous magician the Great Tiramisu curses the village, Casper's father is blamed and sentenced to death by pigeon. It's up to Casper and his best friend to find the magician, reverse the curse and save the day. A riotous tale that proves all you really need in life is a buggy that runs on washing-up liquid and a couple of boys to crash it.

This book is brilliant - for children (although I think it will appeal directly to boys) who love getting up to mischief and causing mayhem.

Casper is an ordinary boy, who does well at school, was able to write using joined up handwriting, knew his times tables and understood French. However, the rest of Corne-on-the-Knobb were anything but ordinary.

Sitting in geography class one day, he was surprised when the teacher anounced a change to the class that day, The Great Tiramisu was to visit the town the next day and they would be drawing pictures to welcome him to the village. Casper did not want to have anything to do with the project and got himself into trouble.

Other child characters included Caper's wannabe best friend Lamp, an inventor, and Anemonie Blight, the class bullly and teachers pet.

Casper's home life was no more ordinary, with a mother who had collapsed since having his sibling (no one got close enough to see it was a girl or boy), and a father who was a chef by night and looked after the sibling by day.

The story is one of funny interludes which will have youngsters full of laughter and a great story which moves at a fast pace enticing children to keep reading to find out what happens to Casper.

I would recommend it to all, either to read alone or share with others at story time. A great debut by Ivan Brett, an author who I look forward to reading more from in the future.

Thank you to Harper Collins Children for sending me the book to review.

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