Thursday, 26 April 2012

Spitting Image



PB RRP $ 12.95
ISBN 978-1-921977-49-7
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Lightning Strikes is a terrific series of books for junior readers of both genders. They are by different authors with different topics. In Spitting Image we meet twins Helen and Charlie and toddler Abby, and Mum and Dad as they set out on a family outing. The destination is supposed to be the Zoo but they end up at Farmer Phil’s Fabbo Funtime Family Farm, aka a petting zoo.

The twins know it will be boring. They’d looked forward to poisonous snakes, reticulated pythons, even an anaconda. What they get is farm animals and alpacas, and even more boring events - or so they think.

Their parents mock their negativity and try to shift them into a positive mood by suggesting to Helen that she make use of her new camera to take photos of the animals. The complaints and groans continue. It is this new camera that causes her to fall into the alpaca enclosure which sets off a chain of unfortunate, catastrophic and chaotic events that are anything but boring.

It starts when Farmer Phil forgets to close the gate to the enclosure and the alpacas escape. They mix in with and frighten the cows that are halfway through an automated milking session. The cows try to escape and mayhem follows as the children try to round up the alpacas and experience all the animals’ oddities in the process. But then there’s the sheep dog trials, and the tangling of the rope attached to the alpaca with the mountain bike, and the list goes on.

This is a hilarious and unbelievably entertaining read.  It’s fast moving; unstoppable in fact until the last full stop. This is certainly a fabulous read for young people and older people who still nurture the child within and who enjoy a good laugh.

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