Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

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Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A very amusing and fun adventure for the under-twelves, and anyone else who might enjoy the whimsy of its invention.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 208 Date: September 2013
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780192734556

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Children the age of Oliver are supposed to be adventurous, but he just wants to stay at home. He's been dragged across the globe by his explorer parents, but he only wants to settle. Moving into a new home at last, when they retire, he soon finds them vanished, along with lots of small islands that had peppered the bay their house overlooked. Oliver, then, has to turn pioneer, and try and find out what has happened to the rest of his family.

In the process he gets a new family of friends, and it's here I'll stop describing anything with much detail. The pleasures of this book include a very matter-of-fact whimsicality, and it's better if you know as little as possible about Mr Culpeper, Cliff and Iris. Their introduction on the page, and in the spikey, black and blue illustrations, is great. It brings to mind for me at least Walter Moers and his ability to invent weird worlds and creatures with such a blasé attitude. The actual seawigs, when they start to feature, are both absurd and very drily acceptable in such a fantasy adventure as this.

And that's before the army of green monkeys, and the Thurlstone… There's a depth to this book despite its brevity, due to the economical style and quick-paced drama. Not for Philip Reeve are there words out of place, or unnecessary description. Instead there is a snap to the comedy, a quirk to the characters and much pleasurable fun to be had with it all. There's an invention here that carries across the age range it's targeted at, and so this little book becomes almost universally entertaining.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

The Monkey Pirates by Mark Skelton and Ben Redlich has a similar way with odd animal larks, and is still brilliant fun. More recently our funny-bone has been tickled by The Grunts All At Sea by Philip Ardagh and Axel Scheffler.

Buy Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Oliver and the Seawigs by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre at Amazon.com.


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