Monday 19 March 2012

79. Spitting Image by James Roy

Spitting Image by James Roy
Published March 2012 Walker Books

From the publisher:

When Charlie's family car pulls up outside the zoo, he realises he's been tricked by his parents again. This isn't the zoo. It's a petting zoo! His younger sister, Abby, is going to love it, but Charlie is in for the most boring day of his life. It's going to be worse than school. Until the alpacas get loose and Charlie's stuck in the middle ... 

This is the latest in the Lightning Strikes series.  This series is written for reluctant readers and is a great introduction to some excellent Australian and New Zealand  authors.  While the books vary the genres and style of stories they all feature short chapters and humour.  They work well for reluctant readers because the stories all take place in a short space of time, so the readers doesn't have to keep track of complicated plot lines or remember which character is which and how they fit into the story.

In this title, the story is an afternoon of chaos at a petting zoo.  Charlie is not happy about this being the 'zoo' that his parents have decided to visit, and he and his sister Helen separate from their parents to find something fun to do.  A simple visit to the alpaca enclosure results in Helen falling in, and when the farmer comes to get her out, he is not happy.  He tells the children that if any more trouble occurs he knows who to blame, with that he heads off...leaving the alpaca's gate open.

When Charlie and Helen start to spot alpacas around the farm they realise they will be blamed for the escape, so it's their job to get them back.  The only trouble is, the alpacas quite like their freedom!

It's funny, fast paced and most readers will be able to identify with the 'boring' family outing!

Who will like this book: Boys age 8+
Read it if you like: the Lightning Strikes series

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