Friday 29 April 2022

The Great Treasure Hunt: MerTales 4

The Great Treasure Hunt: MerTales 4 by Rebecca Timmis (Allen & Unwin) Paperback RRP $14.99 ISBN 978 1 76 0 526580

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

This is her third book in the MerTales series by author illustrator Rebecca Timmis.

Colours are disappearing from Cockleshell Cove! The bright coral reed is grey and dull, and even the clownfish feel threatened. The MerTales crew are worried their bright tails might be next. Sandy sets out to investigate with the help of her friends, Pearly, Shell, and Coral. However, the mysterious rainbow thief moves faster than anything they have seen. The question is: can the mer-crew catch the thief and bring back Cockleshell Cove’s beautiful rainbow?

Author Timmis sets the scene and dives straight into the action in the undersea world with her smart language choices and simple sentences moving the story along at a brisk pace. The text immerses the reader with clever puns and verb choices. The sea themed word play is woven throughout every page with font of different sizes and shapes.  

Timmis’ illustrations are cartoonish and depicted in greys and whites with splashes of green. The characters’ movements and expressions show personality and individuality. On double page spreads there are lots of detail with the main characters in focus and the others gathered around in places in the background. The Mertales are shown working together but also individually.

MerTails – The Mysterious Rainbow Thief is a well-written and devised junior fiction book for children aged 6-9 years who love a mystery to solve. This story has easy to read text that suits this age group perfectly and the illustrations support the text with characters that are dynamic and fun.

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