Sunday, 7 May 2017

Blog Tour: Dougal Daley by Jackie Marchant & Lorretta Schauer, Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E

It really isn't!
 4th April 2017, Wacky Bee Books, 180 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Book summary
I, Dougal Daley, am dead! Ok I’m not actually dead. But if I’m not careful I soon will be.

In this first book, football-loving Dougal Daley finds himself at risk from the mysterious creature living in the garden shed. Nobody believes him but as a precaution, he sets upon writing his will - rewarding those who help him and disinheriting those who get on his bad side. Meanwhile, as limbs and windows alike are broken by rogue footballs and unhinged canines, Dougal finds himself in all sorts of trouble. . .and NONE of it is his fault!

Nayu's thoughts 

 Despite preferring heroines to heros the hilarity of Dougal's tale is what drew me to it. I dread to think what would happen if he ran into Jesper Jinx, (link takes you to my most recent review of the Jesper series) an equally unlucky boy,
 something I recently mentioned on Twitter to the JJ author, Marko Kitti, which Loretta replied to: 

. Unlike Jesper's sister, Dougal's sibling seems nicer in general if very opinionated and against her brother. Throughout the book Dougal makes what feels like a zillion versions of his will (the death kind of will), each influenced by how people have treated him. What adds to the book's humour are the various notes in different styles of writing, mostly to Dougal, with the funniest being from his sister Sybil whose name he can't spell correctly. To be fair even I had to double check the spelling! It's not a common name for me.

Trouble definitely migrates towards him-the an incident wasn't really his fault! He gets grounded a lot but he manages to get caught up in trouble warranting more punishment. I'm surprised he is allowed a hamster given it escapes and causes chaos...but that's nothing compared with the mysterious creature in his shed which is where the trouble starts. I enjoyed not knowing what the creature was and putting up with Dougal's wild guesses. I'm amazed he got any sleep with it being in his garden! The end was unexpected and thoroughly enjoyable, with plot twists which I suspected but didn't link up all the dots in time before it got concluded. Dougal's family and friends are lovable and memorable, just like Dougal and his pets. I'm looking forward to book #2 due this Autumn involving a tarantula! 

All about Jackie
Dougal Daley was inspired by a messy bedroom and a random question from my son about writing a will. Dougal Daley has been huge fun to write about – you wouldn’t believe the disasters that happen around him (none of which are his fault of course)! When I’m not writing I love doing school visits and creative writing workshops. I also take time away from the writing world looking after guide dogs while their owners are away.


All about Loretta
I I originally studied performing arts and have a degree in Dance Performance – well you never know when you need a quick pirouette! I also worked in practical conservation for a long time, and spent many years battling balsam, identifying lichen, and searching for creepy crawlies before I picked up my pencils and paints and began exploring illustrating and writing for children. In 2011 I won the Waterstone’s ‘Picture This’ competition and I now illlustrate full time. However I am still happiest noodling around for fossils and shells on the beach!

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