Olive of Groves and the great slurp of time follows on from the riotous Olive of Groves. This new installment can stand alone but to fully appreciate this crazy school and especially the diabolical Pigg McKenzie and the batty school headmistress Mrs Groves I do recommend reading the first book if you can.
As this story opens Basil Heffenhuffenheimer arrives at Mrs Groves School for Naughty Boys, Talking Animals and Circus Performers. What a wonderful name!
"Olive continued to stare. She took in the lederhosen, the collarless white shirt, the big brown hiking boots with woolly white socks, the canvas rucksack and the green felt hat. The hat was decorated with a beautiful tan and black feather that might well have been plucked from the tail of a pheasant."
Who is Basil? He is a time traveler. He has just been taking a hike in the Black Forest in Germany in 1857 and now he has arrived at this crazy school. Mrs Groves explains this is perfectly acceptable because the school is also for time travellers and she used to have some textbooks about this one of which she eventually locates - "The concise guide to Time Travel". Time travel is a two way process achieved using clocks - one running forwards and one running backwards. Olive has the perfect backwards running clock so it seems everything is set for some time travelling adventures. Unfortunately (you knew I was going to say that!) Pig McKenzie has returned. He has disguised himself as Pigg McKenzie and convinces Mrs Groves he is a different fellow but Olive is very suspicious.
"Anyone can see that he is the same Wicked Pig as Ever He Was. Placing an extra g in his name does nothing to change the fact that he is a Nasty, Vile Creature Who Thinks of Nobody but Himself. Why, this very minute, he is probably Scheming and Plotting to Get Rid of Me."
This book contains all the elements I enjoyed in the first. Wordsworth and his thesaurus style of talking. "How annoying ... frustrating, irritating, infuriating and exasperating", The boys who like to blow everything up (you will gasp at some of their timing and the ensuing chaos), Chester the rat who loves buttons along with some new friends such as Basil himself and Num Num the dinosaur, not to forget the consistently devious Pig or Pigg McKenzie.
As for the time travel you will find yourself in the Jurassic era, Elizabethan England and even the Black Forest in 1857. The word slurp in the title is something I will leave you to discover for yourself but you might have guessed something is not quite right when I mentioned Num Num the dinosaur.
You know from the start all will be well for Olive and her friends, of course, but the true enjoyment comes from the mayhem, crazy disasters and fun you will experience with our intrepid heroes in this rocket fueled adventure.