Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Children’s Book Review, The Tinklers Three - a Very Good Idea

Children’s Book Review by Susan Stephenson,

The Tinklers Three - a Very Good Idea is a junior novel, written by M. C. Badger, illustrated by Leigh Brown, and published by Hardie Grant Egmont (2014). It’s the first of a series of books about the Tinklers.

From the publisher:

Marcus and Mila Tinkler are VERY good at climbing. But can they go from their house to the town clock tower without once touching the ground? It will probably be hard. It will probably be dangerous. And almost certainly dirty. It's a very good idea!

The Tinkers are three children we all want to be like. For a start, they live alone while their parents are away being stars of the circus. Mila, the big sister, gets great ideas (most of the time.) Ideas like eating chocolate ice cream for breakfast, and wearing a bird's nest for a hat. Marcus, the middle brother, thinks he’s the most normal member of the family. The little sister, know as Turtle, thinks she’s a turtle. She mostly sits under the table eating lettuce and playing with her stick collection.

These three have such great adventures! Badger understands the sheer delight of imagining oneself swinging on a light cord, sliding down stairs on a tray and jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Her writing style is active and enjoyable, helping young readers step straight into the world of the Tinklers. There’s lots of humour, enough tension to keep those pages turning rapidly, some mildly sinister baddies, and characters who while they don’t seem at first like the kids next-door, certainly sound like them!

Brown’s sketchy cartoon-style illustrations help us to check what we’ve imagined against someone else’s visualisation - I loved them because they added extra detail to the movie in my head. This is not a picture book, but Brown has generously provided lots of energetic sketches that undoubtedly help bring the story to life.

Young readers who are starting into chapter books often like to find a series. The characters soon become familiar, and they can have confidence about making an entertaining entry into the fictive dream. I recommend The Tinklers Three to parents and teachers who are looking for short funny books that will make kids laugh and enjoy reading.

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  1. The characters sound really amusing, especially Turtle! :)


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