Monday, 8 April 2013

Book Review: Veronica Cossanteli - The Extincts


The front cover perfectly represents the book through it's quirky, funny and bright illustrative features. It will certainly entice any younger reader to be instantly interested and engaged. They will not be disappointed once they open the book as the internal illustrations easily interact with the reader and enhance the story. The illustrator, Steve Wells, has perfectly captured the essence and charm throughout the whole book.

I have to admit that I haven't read or reviewed many books for this particular audience (7+). However, I was both pleasantly surprised and immediately engaged with the storyline. It is very funny and highly imaginative. It was liking taking a stroll down the fantasy/humorous path of Roald Dahl's very own stories. 

The Extincts is brought to life through a brilliantly written character, George Drake, who has the greatest fortune of finding a scattering of money on the wet pavement. As a result, he decides to treat himself to a bag full of sweets. Unfortunately his luck appears to soon run out when his bike is stolen whilst he is purchasing his sweets and through a rather challenging time for his family. However the adventure soon unfolds when something unusual starts to happen in Wyvern Chase Woods . . . . . 

Without wanting to give too much away at this stage, the story is developed around mysterious circumstances involving unexpected and mythical-type creatures. Many of which we've never heard of or seen before, but they certainly appear to be realistic. Highly imaginative and creative these add to the drama and tension of the story. Unfortunately Diamond Pye (evil step mother of another character) also appreciates these fantastical and amazing creatures, but not in a positive way. Her motive is to capture the creatures and to use her taxidermy skills in order to win the Golden Brain Spoon. I hear you all asking why would she want to win this? I'm surprised with you all . . . . . . 'it's for spooning out brains, of course!'

I think that by now you'll be able to gather that this is a very funny story that is a great family read. It has been very well written - the story certainly flows well and is very engaging. It is a book that will be enjoyed by both boys and girls and certainly a good book for sharing out loud. In three words, I would sum this book as being wild, wonderful and perhaps slightly bizarre. This is a very entertaining book that has been written by a debut author - one to be watched in the future, I think.

Book published by Chicken House - 2nd May 2013 - ISBN: 9781908435453 - PB

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