Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes

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Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes

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Buy Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A more self-reflective but still highly energetic entry to this young series, with the creature creators forced to face their efforts getting in the public eye.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: May 2009
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-1407108711

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It was a dark and stormy night... when Aunt Thea found her garden swarming with monsters. There was only one thing for her to do - send the dragon among them to fetch her nephews, Jack and Lewis, who had created the beasts in the first place, to help with the clear-up. But it doesn't go according to plan.

This is an exuberant and lively story as we'd expect from this series, with an added dollop of tension as monsters are left by mistake to roam around in the open world, and the magic of the children's abilities - to draw and bring to life monsters, gateways to other worlds, and more - is openly there for all the neighbours to see. Jack and Lewis have to be as quick with the lies, as inventive with their imaginations, and as active as ever before to sort this mess out.

All of which makes this, their fourth adventure, just as appropriate for the under-tens as always. The heroes remain the ideal way into this series, and with some added bullying, passing girls, and some pesky journalists, Ali Sparkes' way with character is there yet again. For me there was added comedy, in-jokes (glad to know I'm not the only one to think Jack and Lewis's parents hardly ever see them!), X-Files riffing, and more.

But the interests of the target audience are more pertinent, and these are fully considered. The read is a very lively one, with lots of variety in scenes, and the young will even be interested to read events set in a farmer's market fair. Sparkes does seem to have this habit, of basing her books on things her audience generally probably aren't interested in - the future of a farm and the cameo of the title creature here, for instance - but she never lets drop her craft in forming the sprightliness, quality, pace and energy of her output. All these are in evidence here, and this title deserves a healthy Bookbag rating.

The series started here, while the best remains the third.

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Buy Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Spacemite (Monster Makers) by Ali Sparkes at Amazon.com.

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