Grubtown Tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash by Philip Ardagh

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Grubtown Tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash by Philip Ardagh

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Not the best in the series, but it's still well worth reading - where else do boys float on town mayors and need rats to come to their (convoluted) help?
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 144 Date: September 2010
Publisher: Faber and Faber
ISBN: 978-0571253494

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If there's one thing that we've learnt from the previous five Grubtown Tales, it's that Jilly Cheeter and Mango Claptrap are never separated. Whatever extraordinary circumstance of life turns up, they'll always work together. So why is Mango, in his shortest of short trousers as usual, sat on top of a floating mayor, in shark-infested seas, and why is Jilly only taking her poorly dog to the vet's? And what sort of help can we expect from a back story involving some liberated lab rats?

I won't go over the delirious invention involved with the people and events of Grubtown, for having said it twice before, with the previous book and the one before that. But suffice to say there won't be a child able to keep a straight face when up against Beardy Ardagh's imagination at full flight.

I do have to mention that this outing seems a lot more straightforward than prior volumes. Yes, chapters alternate between flashback with rats, and tragedy with sharks, but generally the telling is A to Bee to Cee, without a bizarre detour to some brand new letter like "Koip", as Ardagh would normally try - and pull off with aplomb.

That's not to deny the spirit, brio and fun energy of the Grubtown Tales are not in full evidence. There's almost enough that's utterly daffy and endearingly odd in here, but I hit the last page (where 99 percent of the people get their nice, happy ending) too soon for my liking, and without and real twist or sidestep as usual.

I would definitely wish to continue reading these Tales, as and when the very busy Mr Ardagh can get them published, and I won't be alone in that, but somehow this seemed like the nearest thing to a weak link he's so far produced. It's still, though, well worth having on your shelves - it is, after all, Beardy Ardagh.

I must thank the kind Faber people for my review copy.

Further daffiness we can recommend can be found in Doctor Doom: Oli and Skipjack's Tales of Trouble by Ceci Jenkinson.

Buy Grubtown Tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash by Philip Ardagh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Grubtown Tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash by Philip Ardagh at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Grubtown Tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash by Philip Ardagh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Grubtown Tales: Splash, Crash and Loads of Cash by Philip Ardagh at Amazon.com.


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