Oliver Fibbs 2: The Giant Boy-Munching Bugs by Steve Hartley
|Oliver Fibbs 2: The Giant Boy-Munching Bugs by Steve Hartley|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Margaret Young|
|Summary: The problem with telling too many fibs is that when you really are telling the truth, no one believes you. This is a wonderful story in which Oliver's most far fetched fib actually does have some basis in truth. This is a laugh-out-loud, easy-to-read boy-friendly book for tweens, which will give children something to think about as well.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: June 2013|
|Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Oliver Tibbs is an average child in a very above average family. His mother is a brain surgeon, his father a famous architect, his sisters are the stars of the National Ballet Academy and his little brother is a genius with a talent for maths and a chess champion. Oliver's parents are desperate to find some as of yet undiscovered talent for their ordinary son, but so far it looks likes Oliver's only talents are reading comics, making up fibs, and eating pizza. I think Oliver did have his own genius though, as most children do, and while his parents desperately searched for something he could excel at, his hidden talent was right under their noses the whole time.
It all begins when Oliver is drawn away from his latest comic book adventure by blood-curdling screams. Rushing to the hall - he discovers a horrid monster. It could be a radioactive zombie - or it could be his father. It turns out to be his father, who is suffering from a rare tropical disease caused by the bite of blood sucking insect. Finally Oliver has something exciting to talk about in school, but no one believes him except for his best friend, the ever loyal Peaches. All is not lost though; the insect which has transmitted the Wenghi Benghi fever is still at loose in the Tibbs' home. Oliver has a chance to prove he is telling the truth, but not without a comic series of disasters.
My sons especially enjoyed the comic book style illustrations in this book. The illustrations of the insect and the man-eating plants are certain to catch any young boy's interest. The story itself is actually far better than I expected, and even as an adult I enjoyed this, and felt that many parents could take something from this book as well. Of course I expected some silliness, and there is plenty of that, along with name calling and childish pranks, but this is also a story of a child feeling left out and looking for a way to fit in. I think this could really help children to be more tolerant of the child who tells too many whoppers.
This book has two stories, the 'real' story of Oliver Fibbs and the Wenghi Benghi fever, and the more exciting comic book style adventure he has invented. The children liked the silly scenes, and the fact that it really does not descend into nonsense. They especially liked the disease-ridden father moaning and groaning like a monster, and the way Oliver could almost scare himself with his own imagination. They liked the way Oliver's fibs keep getting him into more and more trouble and children can really see how telling lies can backfire, but this also shows that they don't have to give up telling stories completely. I liked the fact that at least some characters in the book eventually come to appreciate Oliver's tall-tales for exactly what they are - stories and fairly good stories at that. Oliver's parents may have hoped he'd become a famous botanist or an actor, but they seemed to have missed that he might have just what it takes to become a brilliant writer. My youngest son enjoys making up fanciful stories and I hope he never outgrows it. I think this book is a wonderful way to encourage children in their own creativity.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Oliver Fibbs 2: The Giant Boy-Munching Bugs by Steve Hartley at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Oliver Fibbs 2: The Giant Boy-Munching Bugs by Steve Hartley at Amazon.com.
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