The Odd Squad: King Karl by Michael Fry
|The Odd Squad: King Karl by Michael Fry|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Robert James|
|Summary: While it's not quite as good as the first two in the series, this is a pleasant enough read with gorgeous illustrations.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 208||Date: September 2014|
|Publisher: Faber and Faber|
Nick, Molly and Karl have come through a lot of things together since forming Safety Patrol - often with the help of Shakespeare-quoting janitor Mr Dupree. But when the mysterious MLEZ, who run the school, want Karl to join them, Nick and Molly have to start thinking about ways to stop him - because Karl in charge is a frankly terrifying prospect.
I'm a big fan of Michael Fry's Odd Squad series but was a little let down by this one in some ways. I’ve been trying to think why I wasn’t as keen on it as the previous two and it’s taken me a while to put my finger on it, but I think it’s mainly that there’s more of a focus on Karl here. I’d enjoyed reading about the trio in the previous two books but Karl’s zany character – talking to his sea monkeys, wearing his Beret–Cam, singing Frere Jacques for an hour on end – grated on me a bit here as he played more of a role than in Bully Bait or Zero Tolerance.
That said, there’s still a lot to like about it. Nick is an engaging narrator who muddles through in a believable way, often doing silly things but always having the right intentions. Molly is a good character and despite Karl getting on my nerves at times, the friendship between the trio has developed well over the course of the three books. I also appreciate that the adults get a better portrayal here than they often do in books for this age range - Memaw is hilarious and Mr Dupree really funny, while Nick constantly underestimates all of the older characters' ability to relate to children. And, of course, the illustrations are wonderful - I love Fry's cartoons!
All in all, it's a decent enough read, if not up to the first two in the series, and I'll be on board if there are future books. Series is a definite recommendation overall!
I think fans of the humour here, and the mixture of writing and illustrations, would love the Sesame Seade trilogy starting with Sleuth on Skates by Clementine Beauvais and Sarah Horne.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Odd Squad: King Karl by Michael Fry at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Odd Squad: King Karl by Michael Fry at Amazon.com.
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