by Karen McMillan
It is refreshing to find a series of fantasy adventure novels set in the South Pacific and Alphabet resort fits the bill.
Four children Jed, Kiri and twins, Ethan and Emma accompanied by Emma’s sophisticated cat Blong, are able to travel to exotic destinations by means of an elastic island which propels, or ‘pings’ them rapidly to various tropical destinations. Along with characters they met on previous adventures they’ve been invited to stay at Alphabet Resort and attend the wedding celebrations of King Shiny and Princess Topaz.
In the time leading up to the celebrations the children pursue their own interests. The boys develop an interest in the shape of Wombat poo and enjoy the theme park across the causeway while Kiri goes for a swim.
Emma’s literary interests take her along to a building re-naming, for which the names of two authors had been submitted, and a popular selection is made.
Blong the cat is very supportive of Emma and on occasion coughs up Blong-A-Grams of topical interest as well as communicating the answers to riddles in ransom notes when Princess Topaz is kidnapped.
Other delightful characters pop up. There’s Wombo the Wombat searching for love and Mrs Quokka quoting her Quokka logic not to mention the frivals adding to the confusion in the hunt for Princess Topaz. And is there a hint of romance in the air . . . ?
Many children will find the inclusion of the map of Sunset Island helps them orientate their imaginary view of the island setting and is a useful addition to the publication.
In common with many modern publications the gutter in the middle of the book is on the narrow side which makes the book a little awkward to hold open.
This is a delightful and entertaining book for 7 to 11 year olds with well drawn characters moving along at an agreeable pace and extending their imagination into a healthy, imaginary fantasy world.
Author: Karen McMillan
Publisher: Duckling Publishing