Thursday, 18 October 2012

Book Review

'You, Me and Thing: The Legend of the Loch Ness Lilo.'

written by Karen McCombie & illustrated by Alex T Smith

I discovered this brand new shiny book the other day sitting wonkily amongst the other familiar junior fiction as I was shelving a a few titles. The books do get very tumbled about and kids often put them back with their spines facing inwards or splaying the pages around other books, which is extremelydistressing. But I do love tidying up the kids' section and making it as perfect as possible even if it won't stay that way for long. 

It means I am very familiar with all our stock and new books do tend to jump out at my face.  Quite often I come across new books when unpacking our delivery every other day but sometimes they escape me and find their way onto the shelves without me even glimpsing their lovely covers. 

Anyhow, as I straightened this one on the shelf I couldn't help but notice the lovely drawings and my Alex-T-Smith-o-meter piped up and I knew here was what promised to be yet another quirky, fun and lovely book. Because Alex T Smith only illustrates cool stories and his pictures are always totally excellent. 

I was so right. 'You, Me and Thing' is 
brilliant.  Here is Thing, a small creature covered in ginger fur with paws that are like little hands and wings that are stubby and don't work,  ... "two HUGE eyes that blink up at you, all shy and wondering and worried."

There is a generous smattering of illustrations throughout the book, and a nice variety of different layouts of pages to keep the eyes busy and interested. The story is bitesized, for young readers, but a complete and amazing adventure. From the first page the writing endeared itself to me; candid and fun. We have a lot of books by Karen McCombie in the library and they are very well borrowed. Her Indie Kidd series and Ally's World books are just a couple of examples of her huge array of fiction for children and young people. Here's a link to an indispensable website called Fantastic Fiction where you can view everything an author has written, in date order and by series. You can also click on a title for a synopsis: 


This little story has broken away from her super girly books and would appeal to boys as well as girls. 

Ruby and her neighbour Jackson, (sometimes her friend, more often annoying) discover this Thing between their back gardens, the last precious piece of nature left after the woods were cleared to make room for a big new housing estate. This magical little being is incredibly cute, not only to look at but in its communication. Although it can speak English, its vocabulary is childish and it often mispronounces words. Its understanding of the wider world is limited and Ruby and Jackson are forever trying to explain what they've just said. Thing's eagerness and innocence is what lands the children in a spot of bother, trying to keep Thing a secret and protect it. Thing is easily scared so the kids are constantly trying to keep it calm and happy. One of its favourite activities in jumping up and down on a miniature, homemade trampoline, using a the bottom of a biscuit tin and Ruby's swimming cap. 

 When Thing decides to join them down at the local swimming pool one day for a birthday pool party, mayhem is sure to follow.

There are two preceding title in this fun series: 

The Curse of the Jelly Babies 
&  The Dreaded Noodle Doodles

Plus, more to come soon. I highly recommend them for any young reader who needs something fresh and fun to keep their nose in books. 

As always, free to borrow and reserve at your local library! 

1 comment:

  1. What a great review, Susie, I love it. Thing certainly has charm. Sounds like a wonderful book.

    Love your writing.