Thursday 3 October 2019

Toffle Towers: Fully Booked

Toffle Towers: Fully Booked by Tim Harris, illustrated by James Foley (Puffin) PB RRP$14.99 ISBN 9780143795421

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Here is a new book series for young readers by the Australian author of the humorous and quirky, best-selling Mr Bambuckle books. In a different, more straight-forward style, the first of the Toffle Towers books is about Chegwin Toffle, a ten-year-old boy with a rampant imagination who inherits a hotel from a great-uncle he never knew.

Toffle Towers has not had a booking in over three years, but Chegwin figures out a solution, acquiring a shuttle bus with rocket engines which amuses holidaymakers and conveys them to the hotel. Bookings increase but Chegwin makes a huge mistake when he over-orders milk and depletes the hotel’s budget. Chegwin has discovered that running a hotel has its challenges and disasters which he is forced to overcome.

The book’s pages are broken up with amusing black and white illustrations including the use of speech balloons. One example follows a sub-heading, ‘Strange things people might inherit’ with captioned illustrations such as a bazooka, a set of real and very sharp teeth (with bonus piranha) and a priceless antique chamber pot. In other places there are break-out notes, correspondences and imaginative ideas (for example, what to do with sixty thousand litres of milk: answer, offer milk baths to guests!)

Fast paced and amusing, this novel would best suit readers aged eight years and over.

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