"Impossible isn't real. It's just in your mind!"
After reading a few long and intense books over the last week it was good to take a little break yesterday with The Creakers. Tom Fletcher is famous for his book The Christmasaurus but I will confess I have not read this. He is also the author of the popular picture book series 'The Dinosaur that pooped'.
When you see this book you may think it looks quite long but the 330+ pages have a largish text size and plenty of illustrations and this combined with a fast paced story means you will (if you are a reader in Year 2 or 3) look very impressive because you reading a 'long/fat' book but in fact you will be able to read this romp quite easily (and the grown-ups will never know!)
Lucy Dungston's dad has disappeared. Mum thinks he has left the family but Lucy is sure he will return. One morning Lucy wakes up to discover her mum has gone too! When she steps out onto Clutter Avenue it appears she is not alone with this issue - all the parents and other adults are gone. Overnight they have all disappeared.
At first this seems fabulous to the children. Freedom to play, eat junk food, watch movies rated higher than PG and make lots of mess but Lucy and her friend Norman realise this is actually a crisis. The pair investigate and discover hidden tunnels under all the beds in Whiffington. These tunnels lead to the home of the Creakers - a place called the Woleb - and it is these smelly, ugly creatures who have stolen all the parents. But why? And how? And what can Lucy, Norman and little Ella do?
With thirty short chapters and funny little asides** by the author I am sure this light-hearted fantasy will make you laugh and also cheer as Lucy sorts out this mess with her can do attitude, boundless energy and common sense problem solving.
Here are a few quotes from the text to give you an idea of this writing :
Lucy finds herself in the Woleb
"It was the strangest thing she'd ever stepped on. It felt warm, damp and squelchy, like standing on a giant tongue. Yuck! thought Lucy. I wish I'd worn my slippers. That's the thing about having adventures in the middle of the night. You can never be fully prepared for them."
Lucy and Norman decide to use Ella in their plan to capture a Creaker.
"Now it's not very nice to use little girls as live bait to catch monsters, but, if you do ever have to, then it's always best to use an annoying little sprog like Ella, just in case they do actually end up getting snatched."
There is also an audio version of this book which would make a fun listening activity for any junior class. Here is a review with more plot details. Finally take another look at the word 'woleb' - have you discovered the truth. This little trailer from Penguin makes The Creakers look a lot more scary than it actually is - take a look.
**"Ok, we're about to dive down into the Woleb with Lucy. Are you ready? You might want to go to the loo before reading this chapter. I'd hate you to have a little accident. No? Ok, don't say I didn't warn you. By reading on, you agree that the author accepts no responsibility for any toilet-related mishaps you may have as a result of being scared by the following chapter(s)."