I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula? by Dougal Trump

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I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula? by Dougal Trump

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: A fun humour packed adventure, perfect for boys who enjoy creepy crawlies, teasing sisters and making a joke of their mother's cooking. This book is ideal for reluctant readers, but suits avid readers just as well.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: April 2013
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1447220220

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'I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula' is the second in a series of books about the misadventures of Dougal Trump. Although this is a sequel, it is not necessary to read I'm Dougal Trump and It's Not My Fault first. This book is fine as a stand alone story, but the odds are once your child has finished reading it, they will be asking for the next book, or in this case the first book, in fact - we've already bought it.

I read 'Where's My Tarantula' before my son did, but I knew very early on he would enjoy this book. It is written in diary style, very much like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books which my son loved. The text is large, clear and easy to read, with plenty of doodle style illustrations. It differs from many of these books in that rather than trying to mimic handwriting, the publisher has gone with a very clear, large, fairly standard font, double spaced, as recommended for children with dyslexia or reading difficulties, for the main text. This also makes it very easy for children who have only just started to read chapter books on their own.

The main character, Dougie has been given the opportunity to look after a Goliath Bird Eating Spider for the London Zoological Association. Sadly, his parents say no, but Dougal hears yes and soon the world's largest spider, named Sybil after Dougie's sister Sibil, has taken up residence with Dougie. After tormenting his sister with the creature, it is moved into his room. Dougie is delighted with his new room mate, but his joy doesn't last long. The spider is kidnapped and Dougie is forced to follow the thief's demands or risk the spider being returned to him - one limb at a time. The thief makes some very strange demands, ordering Dougie to care for and return one exotic animal after another, but when Dougie learns that Sybil wasn't the only exotic animal stolen recently he realises he has to act. Can Dougie stop the thief? Will he ever see Sybil again, and if he does - how many legs will she have left?

My son really enjoyed the humor in this book. He liked the jokes about the mother's cooking and the squabbling with his sister. He especially liked the Mother screaming when the tarantula has gone missing, and even more when Dougie's sister discovers Sybyl's frozen mice in the ice cream carton. The book has a fair amount of screaming, much to my son's delight. I can't say that I thought much of Dougie's arch nemesis's screen name 'IhateDougie', but my son found this amusing as well. The absolute best part of the book was when Dougie suspects his blind neighbour of foul play.

I liked the fact that the book does include a number of scientific facts about the various animals Dougie encounters. These were all well written and very accurate. I was shocked though when Dougie described his spider as having two goggly eyes. If he had mentioned two goggly eyes and 6 more eyes below and beside them I'd have been a bit happier. Still, this was one very minor blip, and it did not take from the overall enjoyment of the story. My son did mention it, and we looked up some pictures online. I pointed out that while the spider does have eight eyes, two are more prominent than the rest and this must have been what Dougie meant.

Overall I was fairly impressed with the book. It moves along quickly, has plenty of humour, and it obviously written to appeal to boys. This is a book boys will want to read, and the choice of a clear easy to read font, well spaced, and with a fairly easy vocabulary means this is a book boys will be able to read as well. If I were reading this book on my own, I would have given this book 4.5 stars, but my son insists this is definitely a 5 star book, and when it comes to books boys will want to read, I'd rather take the opinion of boy who enjoys books than an adult. He says the book is absolutely brilliant and was quite keen to have the previous book as well. Judging by how much he wants to read more by the same author, I'm happy to give this 5 stars. In my opinion, a child wanting to read more is the very best recommendation a book can get.

Further reading suggestions:

I'm Dougal Trump... and it's not my fault! by Dougal Trump

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish by Mo O'Hara

Buy I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula? by Dougal Trump at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula? by Dougal Trump at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula? by Dougal Trump at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy I'm Dougal Trump . . . Where's My Tarantula? by Dougal Trump at Amazon.com.


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