Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Hooey Higgins and the Tremendous Trousers by Steve Voake, illustrated by Emma Dodson

I completely fell in love with the first Hooey Higgins book, Hooey Higgins and the Shark and continue to encourage new readers to pick it up. Sadly, it doesn't go out as often as I think it should, which I largely attribute to only one in the series being available in the US. But weep no more! Hooey Higgins is COMING.

Hooey and his best friend Twig are not having a good day. First, their class blatantly ignores the Health and Safety rules Miss Troutson has been teaching them, especially the bully Basbo, which ends in Twig being menaced with a stapler and facing potential retribution from the bully. Then there's the contest for the best safety design; Twig and Hooey would like nothing better than to win free tickets to the fair, but can they come up with a design, avoid Basbo, and possibly get the attention of the amazing Samantha Curbitt before Monday?

Luckily for the boys, they have the amazing (although sometimes eccentric) genius of Hooey's brother Will and in a hilarious (if not particularly surprising) plot twist, their design is...well, not exactly successful but it all works out in the end.

I will admit that I am not a big fan of Dodson's cartoon illustrations. I find her faces, especially the heavily outlined eyes and straw-like hair to be a little creepy. However, they do fit in well with the imaginative wackiness of the story and will reassure reluctant readers who are just getting into chapters.

This series is just fun, plain and simple. It's not meant to be a realistic picture of a child's inner life, teach the values of friendship and communication, or inspire anyone. It's hilarious, ridiculous, and really rather British. I love it and now that more books are coming out I am strongly hopeful that I can convince more kids to love it as much as I do.

ISBN: 9780763669232; US edition published 2014 by Candlewick; Purchased for the library

No comments: