Illustrated by Francis Blake.
Published by Usborne, 2017.
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up made me laugh. A lot. Frequently the humour is laugh out loud stuff (which is apt as the book has been shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Children’s Book Awards). When I wasn’t guffawing, I was quietly sniggering to myself. Then there were the times when I simply smiled at the dry wit and clever wordplay. Or at the other end of the scale there was the giddy, childish humour of fart jokes and pirates’ naked bottoms. I actually had to stop reading because I was laughing so hard about Frankie Halftrousers and his single buttock. And yes, I did pore over the illustration until I found it!
Eddy Stone’s busy parents have bundled him off to stay with his gran during the school summer holidays. He is bored. Sleepy Tidemark Bay is a dreary, run-down seaside resort and his gran is not much company. The local children are unwelcoming and unfriendly. So, when a pirate lands in his gran’s bath, Eddy doesn’t think twice about agreeing to join him on an adventure to find Grungeybeard’s buried treasure.
The pirate, Mad Bad Jake McHake (or Captain, for short), has had a dream that he will find the treasure map in a junk shop. Eddy and the Captain follow the dream’s exceptionally detailed instructions and find a treasure map, exactly as foretold. Their next mission is to hire a crew and commandeer a boat. Amusingly, the frustrated ageing junk shop owner ends up as the Crew (assuming all of the roles except for Cabin Boy, which falls to Eddy). Their only other shipmate is a grumpy stowaway penguin. Their boat, the Codcake, started out as a snack bar but magically transforms into a sailing vessel.
The map turns out to be magic too. It’s a bit like a sat nav and it also spells out the different clues which will eventually lead them to the treasure. The four of them embark on their quest, solving clues, completing dangerous trials and collecting various items that will prove them worthy winners of the treasure. Along the way they also have to outrun and outwit the terrifying Barracuda Bill and his bloodthirsty crew (rival pirates on board the Scavenger).
If I were to choose my favourite character it would be a toss-up between the grumpy penguin with aspirations to be a world famous stand-up comedian (he actually has some of the best lines in the book) and the miniature resistance fighters, the Raisins of Death. Just writing their name makes me chortle. Their full names are highly entertaining too (although perhaps not to children): Chevalier François Cabernet Lalande-de-Pomerol and his companion, Plonque.
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up is an hilarious, action-packed, off-the-wall adventure. I highly recommend it.
Suitable for children aged 6+
Thank you to Usborne for sending me this book to review. I reviewed this book as part of the Lollies 2017 blog tour. The Lollies are book awards that celebrate the funniest children’s books. Read more about them and how you can vote by clicking on the link above. You can also enjoy reading a guest blog post from author Simon Cherry where he talks about what inspired him to write.