S.W.I.T.C.H: Ant Attack by Ali Sparkes

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S.W.I.T.C.H: Ant Attack by Ali Sparkes

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: This time the twins become ants - and female ones too. Can they survive the horrid boy up the road - and some nasty brainwashing?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: February 2011
Publisher: OUP
ISBN: 978-0192729354

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It seems that Josh and Danny are about to meet their match. Despite being almost eaten by cats, birds, spiders and more when they've turned into creepy crawlies before in this series, they have a far worse foe this time - Tarquin, the snooty posh brat from up the road. How they survive him turning them into ants, and his misguided attempts to kill them, while all the time the next door neighbour's scientific research which is allowing all this transformation has to be kept a top secret, are all elements of this fourth book in the series.

Once more Ms Sparkes has hit her singular button on the head. Mixing comedy with under-10yo-friendly horror, she successfully makes her twin heroes believable ants - until perhaps she decides they're communicating by pheromone, then has it echo around the crevice in the back garden they temporarily call home. She also introduces the reader into the icky world of ant life - squirting acid from their rears, and eating fresh from the rears of other critters. The near-microscopic world they live in is simply portrayed, and her usual clarity regarding character and plot are present.

The mood of the piece is heightened by the illustrations, which I still think contain many odd compositions. But Tarquin, with his shirt, jacket and tie, and jug ears, is made completely unlikeable - I only hope Sparkes' fashion sense is better than Josh and Danny's mother's.

And so the fun series reaches a pause. There will be more - many more, perhaps, if Petty Potts the unusual scientific genius manages to go through the species as she intends - but for now there's a small hiatus in the publication of these little volumes. And I won't be the only young(-at heart) reader regretting that. Sparkes can only manage compelling and addictive series, and it's down to the rest of us to match her abilities with our skill at rationing the books, or in our patience. Sadly, I feel she has won out over us all...

I must thank the author and her publishers for my review copies. We also have a review of Lizard Loopy by Ali Sparkes.

The series started with Spider Stampede. When the children you buy books for are getting their own, it'll be time to point them to Colony by J A Henderson which features more ants. Tenuous, I know...

Ali Sparkes S.W.I.T.C.H series in Chronological Order

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Buy S.W.I.T.C.H: Ant Attack by Ali Sparkes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy S.W.I.T.C.H: Ant Attack by Ali Sparkes at Amazon.com.


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