Delroy in the Marog Kingdom (Island Fiction) by Billy Elm
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|Delroy in the Marog Kingdom (Island Fiction) by Billy Elm|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A young boy becomes a frog in this exotic children's fantasy quest. There's not that much more that's original about it, but it does provide some interest.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 176||Date: January 2009|
|Publisher: Macmillan Caribbean|
Delroy is special in the way one only finds in fantasy quest books. While taunting people with a frog he can hear the creature talk back to him. While playing alongside his half-brother he can interact with the gods of the river. And when trying to save a child (or so he thinks) he - lo and behold - can become trapped in a frog's body, and get ordered to undergo one of those 'this kingdom is in peril without a doodad you need to collect for us' missions.
The fact that we are living with a marog, a man/frog contraption, only put me in mind of the previous book I'd encountered in this branded series. I know they were created in isolation but that one's combination of young man and goat was too much in my thoughts as I watched Delroy become Roydel and battle sea-snakes and more on his errand.
There's quite a lot of interest in his journey, besides the unusual aim of the whole mission, from cliff-face descents, to nearly being trodden on by a cow, to lost tribes of females - womarogs (!!), to Bob Marley tunes.
The action - fluidly portrayed, decent enough, and the clear, simple description never really made me feel I got the frogness of the character particularly, but I don't actually think that's a bad thing. The quest when it's singled out isn't too bad, and provides enough complexity for the younger reader (particularly in its afters) that this book won't be thought much of a let-down.
It still rates as far too near 'OK', however. If you need a book regarding a frog character I'd suggest you look elsewhere. But if you desire a Jamaican effort at juvenile fantasy featuring unlikely transformations, eating creepy-crawlies, and more, I know of none better than this.
We must thank the publishers for the Bookbag's review copy.
A much more British myth for this age group we enjoyed recently was Season of Secrets by Sally Nicholls.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Delroy in the Marog Kingdom (Island Fiction) by Billy Elm at Amazon.com.
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