Review by Margaret Young, for The Bookbag
Read the full review online here.
We were lucky enough to been among the first to read My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish and have been huge fans of the series ever since. It isn’t strictly necessary to read these books in order, but I would recommend reading My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish simply because once you read one book, you’ll have to read them all and it does tell the reader how Frankie became a zombie Goldfish, as well as giving background information on the main characters.
When this book arrived in the post my sons both let out such cries of delight you would have thought the new Playstation 4 had arrived rather than a paperback book. I keep hearing that children don’t like books as gifts, but even with the fortune I spent over Christmas, very few items got such a delighted reaction as this lovely unexpected surprise with the last of the Christmas post.
Mo’ O Hara certainly knows what children in general and boys in particular like. Once again we have a zombie, even if it is a goldfish, a mad scientist and all of the general trials and tribulations of growing up. But this time we also have a dangerous beast on the loose, an evil game hunter, Grizzly Cook, an outdoor hero very much like Bear Grylls, and a mystery to solve. And if all that were not enough an even stranger develop will take place in the second story. Tom’s evil brother Mark is actually nice . The world has certainly gone crazy for Frankie and his friends. My sons really like Tom and Pradeep, the main characters, in large part because they can see similarities between the boys and themselves. They have a bit in common with Mark as well – not the evil part, but certainly the mad scientist bit. They even got the white lab coats and glasses to go with their chemistry sets after reading the first book.
Mo O’Hara writes stories that children can imagine themselves taking part in – and that is a large part of the magic. The addition of Grizzly Cook was perfect as my sons adore Bear Grylls, and while both stories were wonderful this was certainly their favourite. Although this book is ideal to get boys reading, I know I would have loved myself as child too (Who am I kidding? I love it now). The second story brings a strong female character into the equation and I can only hope we’ll be reading more about Geeky Girl in the future.
My sons say:
Ian – age 5:
I really like that Frankie is a zombie and a good zombie too. I liked the Grizzly cook too because he is like Bear Grylls. Most of all I like the way the brothers fight. I especially like it that the little brother always wins.
Billy age 8:
I love all the books in this series. I love zombies and scientists and I really like all of the characters in this book. I especially liked Grizzly Cook, but I wish he had cooked up something like Bear Grylls eats – especially for Mark. Mark is awful, but I kind of like him too. He enjoys science like I do and he makes things funny. It was really funny when he was oh so polite. I really like the illustrations for this book too, especially the cover art and the little pictures at the corner of each page that you flick through to see Frankie breaking through some type of wall.
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