The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger by Timothy Basil Ering
|The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger by Timothy Basil Ering|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: A little frog tries to make it through the scary night in this exciting tale of bravery and friendship.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 48||Date: June 2014|
|Publisher: Walker Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Little froglet Hamilton Squidlegger prides himself on his bravery. Armed with his wooden sword and shield, he loves to battle imaginary monsters, such as the skelecragon, bracklesneed and fire-breathing frackensnapper. Hamilton fears nothing. Nothing that is, except BEDTIME. As soon as the sun goes down he jumps from his own mud bed and clambers in with mum and dad.
Dad, understandably tired of this awkward sleeping arrangement, decides to 'encourage' Hamilton with the promise of a huge double-decker grasshopper worm cake with snake-belly frosting. Hamilton can have it for breakfast tomorrow on one condition: tonight you must stay in your own mud.
Anything! Anything for that delicious cake! promises Hamilton.
But when the sun goes down, the sky turns stormy and Hamilton worries about lightning monsters. Tonight is going to be the most action-packed adventure of them all and will test Hamilton's resolve to the limit. Will he survive the night? Will he get the cake?
The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger has been compared to the classic poem Jabberwocky for good reason. The narrative is full of fantastic nonsense characters and situations which will have readers giggling in delight as they tackle words like 'scrintalberry' and 'frackensnapper'. The illustrations compliment the storyline and have an almost dreamlike quality, with lots of pastel greens, pinks and purples. There is a great scene where a TV set shakes wildly, squirting out gallons of pink lemonade, which sweep the helpless Hamilton along. This is followed by a gorgeous double-page spread which opens out to a scene packed to the brim with detail and colour, as Hamilton and his friends fly over the watery landscape in an airship. The book is crammed with creativity and imagination.
The story will appeal to families with children who are afraid to sleep alone at night and tackles real fears in a humorous and imaginative way. Hamilton is a likeable protagonist and children will identify with him easily. The relationship between Hamilton and his dad is written with warmth and feeling and it is wonderful to see the positive way in which the father/son relationship is portrayed.
This book is a feast for the eyes and senses with beautiful artwork and a storyline with a meaningful message. I also loved the open-ended finale, which leaves the reader guessing whether the events of the book really happened or whether it was all just a dream. Many thanks to the publishers for my review copy.
Those who enjoy this book should read the classic Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak which deals with childhood fears in creative and imaginative way.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger by Timothy Basil Ering at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger by Timothy Basil Ering at Amazon.com.
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