Sunday 24 May 2015

Spooky Smackdown: Wheelnuts! Craziest Race on Earth #2

Spooky Smackdown: Wheelnuts! Craziest Race on Earth #2 by Knife & Packer (Scholastic Australia)
PB RRP $12.99
ISBN 978-1-74362-723-5

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Multi-billionaire Warren 'Wheelie' Wheelnut has gathered contestants for a second extreme race. This time, the unique racetrack is in Spookytania, and promises to be the scariest racetrack on Earth. 

The rules are simple - there are no rules - and the teams waiting for the signal to go will take full advantage of this. The Wheel Deal, the Flying Nappy, the Rust Bucket 3000, the Supersonic Sparkler, the Jumping Jalopy, and the winner of the last race, the Dino-Wagon, all plan to cheat their way to the finish line.

As well as racing and dirty trick playing, the teams must complete a challenge somewhere along the way. In Spookytania, this challenge is the Room of Super-Mega-Help-I-Want-My-Mummy-Terror and all the teams are faced with ghosts so personal and terrifying (the robots from the Rust Bucket 3000 have a rust demon haunting them) that they do not last long at all in the challenge room.

Despite the fierce competition, there are times when the racers need to team together. Wipeout and Dipstick, the villains of the piece, are never far away and would love to destroy the race.

Spooky Smackdown is a short, colourful and fully illustrated chapter book, which will entertain readers of all ages. The illustrations are reminiscent of the Wacky Races cartoon, as is the storyline. Tongue-in-cheek humour, slapstick scenarios and jostling action make for a fun read for those who appreciate a silly sense of humour.

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