The Big Game (Bug Buddies) by Joe Miller

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The Big Game (Bug Buddies) by Joe Miller

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: The first in a series of books about a group of bugs who play football and try to evade an evil spider. It reads like the novelisation of a Saturday morning cartoon - enjoyable enough, but not as satisfying as it could be.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 32 Date: April 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007310395

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Zap, Buzz, Lurch and Crunch are in training for the Beetle Ball final. As scared as they are of Centipede Utd, that's nothing compared to their fear of Spinner, the evil spider who lives in Shadow Creek. Can they triumph over their fears and rivals? Will friendship and teamwork save the day?

The Big Game is the first book in the Bug Buddies series. Young children who are reading for themselves (boys particularly, given the subject matter, if you'll forgive stereotyping), will enjoy it. There are a few moments when the vocabulary might be a little challenging for those who are a little less confident, but the context is always clear, and the fast-paced plot keeps the pages turning.

It read to me like a novelisation of a Saturday morning cartoon that hasn't been made yet. This connection was made stronger by Duncan Smith's illustrations, which look a lot like pencilled storyboard. It's all very pleasant, but it feels somewhat generic - there are hints of Antz and Bee Movie in there. There's nothing that you can put your finger on being particularly wrong, but similarly there's nothing that makes it really stand out from the crowd.

I did like the basic premise of a group of bugs doing their thing, and I can see it tempting boys who just stick to non-fiction or stories about football to branch out a little. It's exciting enough, but it lacks a certain spark to really achieve all it hopes to.

Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

If football is your thing, Runaway Success by S W Parry is worth a look. For all things creepy and crawly, you won't go far wrong with Wonderful Wriggly Worm by Eugenie Summerfield

Buy The Big Game (Bug Buddies) by Joe Miller at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Game (Bug Buddies) by Joe Miller at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Big Game (Bug Buddies) by Joe Miller at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Big Game (Bug Buddies) by Joe Miller at Amazon.com.


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