Sunday, 20 December 2020

Code Name Bananas

by David Walliams (HarperCollins Children’s Books) PB RRP $22.99

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

David Walliams, who is being hailed as ‘the new Roald Dahl’, has published numerous humorous books for young readers which have become bestsellers. His latest, Code Name Bananas, is a whizz-bang epic action adventure for all the family! 1940. Britain is at war with Germany. As bombs rain down on the city, orphan boy Eric forms an extraordinary friendship with a remarkable gorilla: Gertrude.

Eric’s mission is code named Bananas as he and his uncle Sid (who has tin legs) flee from London to Bogis Regis with Gertrude who is scheduled for a needle to save her life. The escape involves the three in a flying truck, powered by oxygen, which is attacked by Nazi fighter planes. They finish up in Seaview Towers, a hotel staffed by two women who Eric discovers are Nazis planning to ensure the death of Churchill.

This is a book with relentless, not-stopping-for-a-moment action. There are frequent and different type faced action words scattered throughout the book which breaks up the look of the pages. And too, there are frequent black and white cartoon illustrations by Tony Ross.

Most children will love ‘naughty’ sentences such as ‘I’ve got a great big baboon’s bottom in my face’ and ‘A gorilla burp is bad enough, but a gorilla bottom burp in something else. You need a gas mask to survive it.’

Without doubt, this book is exciting, filled with fast-paced drama and readers

are sure to become engrossed in the story. At 480 pages, it’s a hefty book, but

it’s also imbued with historical facts about World War 11. At the end are notes

on the real wartime Britain, including information about the war, Hitler, the’

blitz, the Dunkirk evacuation, London Zoo, Winston Churchill and Buckingham

Palace.

 

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