Yo Ho Ho - read this and don't be rum about it!
It is a treat to be able to read a new book, with libraries closed and bookshops closed it has been quite a problem for many to keep up to date with new reading material, not everyone uses or wants to use big online retailers and supermarkets only sell the obvious big sellers, so unless you are able to find a proper indie bookshop that has a website you may have been struggling.
As it goes most indies do trade online, through Hive or Bookshop, but if you can find their own sites as then they have a chance of making a little bit more.
Mbola Tsara, that’s hello in Malagasy and doesn’t it sound nice! Susan Brownrigg has a beautiful way with words, she seems able to blend old and new and make you feel welcome in her new world of Nosy Boraha (Ille Sainte Marie as it is also known), it is the fabled location of Captain Kidd’s mythical treasure, and wouldn’t you or any self-respecting pirate want to find it?
The plot rattles along shivering your timbers at every chapter and we meet a wonderful menagerie of misfits both human and not so, Susan has worked in a zoo and obviously knows what animals can be realised in a Madagascan adventure, they are such fun and their names!
Tenrecs, Votsotsa, Zebu and Maki all are here and some older extinct ones too, it’s great to have a glossary at the back of the book to help you learn what they all are and the lovely sketches at the start of the book by Jenny Czerwonka and map to follow too!
Kintana is a plucky lass, she immediately has to try and adapt and act differently to fit in with the crew she joins, there is action aplenty and quite a few scary scenes all handled impeccably and with just enough detail to add real shivers and scares, and the pace of the adventure is non-stop.
If you like a mystery and plenty of humour then this book is ideal, there are so many avenues to explore, clues everywhere and friendships both real and unreal…
We get a real insight into pirate life and its ways and taboos and curses, the curse in this one is no black spot for sure. There is plenty of material used to enable lots of discussion and activities
connected with the book for schools, I’d hope worksheets are coming with some art too?
I’d love to see and hear children doing sea shanties all about Lemurs, treasure and grog…
There is much double crossing, mirth and peril, and you learn so many interesting new words too.
A real treat with just enough history and a hint of magic too.
And a hidden clue- don't get your head in a pickle!
Nine Barrels of Rum out of ten from me.