The Getaway by Ed Vere

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The Getaway by Ed Vere

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A quirky in-your-face book about Fingers McGraw the cheese thief and Jumbo Wayne Jnr the detective that's had us all chuckling away here at Bookbag. It's highly recommended, but you can't have my copy.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: October 2006
Publisher: Puffin Books
ISBN: 978-0141382272

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There has been a spate of cheese thefts in the city resulting in severe shortages. Fingers are being pointed at the notorious cheese thief, Fingers McGraw after an artist's impression shows that the thief looks remarkably like a mouse. Matters are so serious that there is no choice but to bring Detective Jumbo Wayne Jnr out of retirement to track down the pesky rodent. Jumbo is big, but as he's an elephant that's really not surprising. Fingers needs to find somewhere to hide and eat his cheese (and he'd like your help in this matter) but Jumbo is determined to have his mouse.

Do you know what I don't like about a lot of children's books? They're dreadfully childish. They underestimate the child's mind and they patronise. Thankfully Ed Vere has blown us a breath of fresh (if cheese-laden) air with The Getaway. It's only 32 pages but there's not a bit of space wasted. The frontispiece gives the backstory in the form of the front page of The Daily Tribune and the back cover shows an interview with a shop keeper who has had cheese stolen. Moo O'Sullivan looks very angry, which isn't easy when you're a cow.

Fingers has indeed got the cheese and he's off on his trusty scooter to find a hiding place. He needs your help though - you're to be the lookout and whistle if you see the elephant. In recognition of your services he's prepared to share the loot 70/30, if he hasn't eaten it first, that is. It won't be easy to keep up with him as he dashes around the city seeking help and dodging the feral biker cats and Jumbo Wayne Jnr. I'm not going to tell you what happens, but you'll be on the edge of your seat, with a surprise on every page.

The drawings are set against a real background and are quirky and in-your-face with bold colours. Don't be misled into thinking that they're simple though - they're anything but. I've read through the book three times now and I'm still finding something new to laugh at. The humour will appeal to a child but there's still plenty there that will amuse an adult. It's one of those rare books that can be enjoyed by both parent and child.

There's plenty to discuss too with lots of word play ('mouse mousse') and visual tricks or even vignettes such as the two lost birds studying a map. Look too for Fingers' apology to Moo O'Sullivan - but look carefully or you might miss it.

I loved this book and I'm counting off all the children I know who might enjoy it. The publishers, Puffin, suggest that the book is suitable for eight to twelve year olds, but it's one of those books that will last and I'd even buy it for a slightly younger child, confident in the knowledge that they'll keep going back to it.

My thanks to those wonderful people at Puffin for sending me the book. I've a feeling I'm going to be showing it to an awful lot of people.

If this type of book appeals to you child then you might also like to try Chris Riddell's Ottoline and the Yellow Cat which also marries art and narrative or the imcomparable This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie.

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Buy The Getaway by Ed Vere at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Getaway by Ed Vere at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Getaway by Ed Vere at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Getaway by Ed Vere at


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