Friday, 11 July 2014
Review: Buckle and Squash and the Monstrous Moat-Dragon by Sarah Courtauld
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Released: July 3rd, 2014
This is the story of two very different sisters – Eliza, who longs to ride into battle against villains and dragons, and Lavender, who would give anything to be a pampered princess. Before the end of the story both of them have had a chance to fulfil their dreams, though not quite in the way they intended... Accompanied by their depressed goat, Gertrude, with their granny’s warnings about the Black Death ringing in their ears, they head out into the forest and come face to face with an evil count who definitely does not have their best interests at heart...
Buckle and Squash and the Monstrous Moat-Dragon is an absolute gem of a book. It's one that demands to be demolished in one sitting then read again straight away. It's jam-packed full of laughs, strong characters and the best kind of deadpan humour. And there are dragons!
Eliza and Lavender are sisters living with their depressing Grandma Maud at Old Tumbledown Farm in the realm of Squerb. Eliza wants to be a hero who saves people when all Lavender wants is to become a princess by marrying a real live prince - they couldn't be more different if they tried! When Lavender gets kidnapped, it's up to Eliza to try and save her, by any means necessary. Even if those means include wool-loving wizards, knee-stealing witches and moat-living dragons!
Besides being laugh out loud funny, Buckle and Squash and the Monstrous Moat-Dragon is also very clever. Very clever indeed. It takes the mickey out of fairytales (in a nice way), there are plenty of in-jokes that even adults will appreciate and it's the best kind of comedy fantasy for kids. Also it's illustrated by author Sarah Courtauld and, lucky for us readers, her drawings are as funny as her stories!
Any and all 9+ readers out there should have their heads firmly stuck in this book. It's one of the best I've read for this age group and I really hope it's planned as a long series. How to Train Your Dragon fans will love this one, as will anyone with an appreciation for great stories and great worlds. I can't wait for more from Eliza, Lavender and the Forest of Toothy, Vicious and Flatulent Dragons!