Children’s adventure books are not as common as they once were, so it is delightful to read about a child’s adventure, without adult supervision, and in a strange place. Danny has been taken to Granny Flora’s house for the holidays. She lived in Kinoussie “A quaint and remote jewel, untouched by time, on Scotland’s stunning west coast.” In the eyes of a young boy this translated to a sombre village populated by old people. Mum had taken him there before, when neither she or Dad could get time off from work for the holidays.
The author has created a lively and exciting story, using humour and suspense to keep a young reader enthralled. There is only one other ten-year-old child in the Village, and that is Susie. She loves books, and research and Danny doesn’t have much in common with her. She does have local knowledge, and comes in handy with the research. Apart from his exciting comics, the young boy has not a lot to do but explore.
On one of his beach walks, Danny meets up with Susie and asks her about a tiny island just in the bay. He finds out that it is reachable at a low tide and he and Susie borrow a rowing boat to explore the terrain. They discover a cave with an injured creature inside and decide to smuggle it back to Granny’s barn. However, there is a handyman, who is helping Granny, and he often snoops around in places he shouldn’t be.
Caring for a wild creature is not as easy as Danny thought it might be. He even shares his beloved Taramasalata with it to keep it happy. Throughout a series of calamities, the boy is able to keep his secret, and helps to solve the problem of relocation for the now healthy wild one.
The illustrations are detailed and imaginative, while the text is double spaced for easy reading. This is a delightful story for boys or girls, with its action, child centred plot and humour.
|Jo Simmons. Illustrated: Sheena Dempsey
|Bloomsbury Childrens Books