Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Gargoylz Get Up to Mischief by Burchett & Vogler

2009, Red Fox
128 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Children's, 6+

Smiles: 5
Pencils: 5
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥

Summary from Random House Children's Books

In this book the boys meet Theo, the gargoyle with the power to turn into a fearsome tiger - if he can only learn to get it right. And there's trouble for Toby when Max's gran mistakes him for a garden gnome! More fun and hijinks abound in the second of this fun and funny series for young readers.

I knew that not all the Gargoylz had been introduced in book 1, because my favourite Gargoyl who can turn into a cat (in truth a kitten, but he is under 500 years old), Theophilus, hadn't had his debut. I can happily announce the mischievous pair of friends Ben and Max finally meet Theo. Yay!

Now, poor Theo desperately wants to be a fearsome cat. He ends up being a cute kitten who wouldn't scare anyone. He's a little disappointed about this, but it turns out that he can still help Ben and Max without acting fierce. Being cute and fluffy is an advantage if there are females to be distracted. Ben and Max use Theo as a distraction when they deal payback to a school bully.

There is one Gargoyl I'm not so keen on. I feel sorry for Eli whose trick is to turn into a grass sn*ke. The illustrations add an extra dimension to the Gargoylz. They look really cute - all apart from Eli. There is no way on this planet I will find a Gargoyl with sn*kes coming out of its head cute. It isn't. I shivered with fear when some of the girls in Max and Ben's class had to deal with an invasion of worms. Boys and worms really do go together. Last year a 5 year old thought it was funny to try and bring a jar full with a few worms into the house - it was even funnier when I sprinted as far away from him in the house as possible. I'm just glad his mother was able to keep him outside - most of the time. So, apologies Eli, but you are my least favourite Gargoyl. I'm glad the sn*kes don't look too realistic, but they still give me heebie-jeebies.

Gargyolz make great companions for Ben and Max, but they also cause a bit of trouble. Max nearly gets into a lot of trouble at home when Toby the Gargoyl discovers the delights of Max's home. Gargoylz seem unable to help themse Thilves near food and water (just like Gremlins).

An entertaining theme which is carried on throughout all the novels is spying. Ben and Max's favourite game is to pretend they are spies. Everyone they know - teachers and classmates has a codename. I think this captures how rich the imagination of children is: there is no such thing as an ordinary day when they can be thwarted by the enemy at any time. That's one of the greatest pleasures of being a bookaholic - my imagination expands with each page I read.

Gargoylz are still loose on the net here.

Liked this? Try book one: Gargoylz On the Loose.

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