Duggie's dune racing days are over, but a reunion with his old friend Ronnie the bottle rocket sparks an adventure that will take them out of this world.
A debut book by popular 'Coast FM' radio host, television celebrity and devoted dad, Sam Wallace, this will be a hit with kids who love racing cars.
With personality-packed, vibrant illustrations by talented cartoonist Shaun Yeo, this is a book about believing in yourself... and your ability to do the impossible!
Miss Three-and-a-half was so excited when she learned that the book cover depicted a buggy on the surface of the moon. She had been learning about space at her kindergarten, so the idea of blasting off from Earth was a hot topic. At her age, she is quite able to follow a story and even ask relevant questions, so reading can be a bit longwinded, but good stimulus material like this is not always easy to source. Her attention span continues to increase as she gets older so she now tends to be riveted from start to finish, even allowing for occasional stops while she asks a question.
The book was perfect for someone her age - just enough storyline to make it interesting, but plenty of bright, quirky pictures which supported the text but did not include too much detail so that the relevant parts were clear. Miss Three-and-a-half added sympathetic sound effects when Tessa was mean to Duggie and pushed him off the track, and declared that Tessa was not a nice car! She knows it is unkind to push someone else if you are bigger and stronger, and she was clearly annoyed by Tessa's actions.
Meanwhile Mr Two, although as yet unable to follow the finer details of the text, was able to understand the story in his own way thanks to the illustrations. He loved the picture of Ronnie the Rocket flying Duggie to the moon, and joined in with lots of rockety whooshing noises to demonstrate what Ronnie would sound like. When it came to the 3, 2, 1 countdown both children joined in with great enthusiasm, delighted that Duggie was finally achieving success. They loved the way Ronnie had come to the rescue and cheered Duggie up.
I like the way that the author has used challenging words to extend the young reader. Most of them can be understood in context, but it is good that the story is not dumbed down. Words like "taut" and "foil" are likely to be unfamiliar; that is where dad (or whoever is reading the story to the children) comes in! There is another discussion to be had around steam power and how it is generated. The rhyming format helps children to remember what is to come next, and both children had fun filling in the missing bits when their parents left out some of the key words that were printed in bold.
It is a measure of a book's success that a child will pick it up and leaf through it after the "official" reading has taken place. Both children love books and will "read" to themselves. In some ways it is a pity that the book does not have a hard cover as it might withstand their handling for longer. However, a book that is dogeared and slightly grubby is also a book that has been well-read and well-loved!
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