Thursday, 9 May 2013

Thursday Thoughts: Book Review of I'm Dougal Trump - Where's My Tarantula by Dougal Trump

Note: I was given a copy of this book by the publishers in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Warning: Some minor spoilers for I'm Dougal Trump And It's Not My Fault in this review.

Sybil has gone missing! Not Dougal Trump's sister Sibble - he'd be quite glad to lose her - but his beautiful Goliath birdeater spider! The fact that her tank's disappeared as well suggest this isn't just a spider making a break for freedom - and this is quickly confirmed when Dougal gets a ransom demand, telling him to follow instructions or receive Sybil back one leg at a time!

I really enjoyed the first in this series despite it being aimed at a younger age range than most books I review - it stood out thanks to a clever plot and Dougal's really strong voice, along with a great cast of supporting characters. This books continues in the same vein, with a really entertaining story and a great mixture of the narrative with Dougal's blog posts and his friends' comments on them - I particularly loved his recipes, especially when others tried to follow them with predictably disastrous results! I think the blog parts work especially well because they make what's in some ways a timeless story - Dougal is the kind of boy you could imagine fitting in with William Brown's Outlaws perfectly - feel fresh and up to date.

Stealing the show from the human characters in some ways though, are a bunch of animals - starting with Sybil and if anything getting more exotic - who are introduced as the book goes along. All of them are great to read about and Dougal gives readers some interesting facts on each one. In addition to the excellent writing, we also get some really good doodles as illustrations, which definitely added to my enjoyment of the book. (Actually, thinking about it, they don't quite steal the show from ALL of the human characters - there's one scene involving Dougal's blind neighbour which is simply brilliant.)

Highly recommended, and I'll definitely be hoping for a book 3!

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