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Mark Powers has been making up ridiculous stories since primary school and is slightly shocked to find that people now pay him to do it. As a child he always daydreamed that his teddy bear went off on top secret missions when he was at school, so a team of toys recruited as spies seemed a great idea for a story. He grew up in north Wales and now lives in Manchester. His favourite animals are the binturong, the aye-aye and the dodo.
Best friends Connor and Ethan are back with a new case: someone – or something – has taken young Alfie’s adorable must-have new Synthpet, Smurble. Can our junior space detectives track down missing Smurble and keep their demanding new client onside? If they don’t, it’s a one-way trip to the Detention Swamps of Pluto for Connor … Their efforts bring them up against trash piranhas, see them hitch a ride on a Venusian racing newt and help them realise some important things about friendship. It’s another funny, fast-paced adventure in a setting where anything is possible. As far out as the action gets, Dapo Adeola is there to meet it with his fantastically lively black and white illustrations. Great fun!
When the good people (and animals) of the Starville space station start sprouting extra heads, arms and legs, it’s clearly a case for junior detectives Connor and Ethan. At first the clues point to Pokeweed’s Perfect Pastries and their delicious snorgleberry tarts, but could the ruthless CEO of FluffyCorp be involved too? With the help of Ethan’s four extra noses, the boys quickly sniff out the villains cooking up trouble. As with the previous book in the series it’s deliciously funny, a perfect mix of madcap humour and crime busting, with the added advantage of being set in space (cue lots of rides on hover scooters for a start). The illustrations by Dapo Adeola are out of this world and add more thrills to the adventure.
Best mates Connor and Ethan think their dreams have come true when they get to spend their summer holidays on Starville, a gigantic space station. They’re selling ice cream for Ethan’s uncle Nick but what the two really want to be is detectives. Well, before you can say purple tufted grotsnobbler, the boys are chasing villains and even more exciting, working to save Starville when someone sets it on a course to smash into the moon. The story zips along as fast as their borrowed hover-scooter and you won’t believe who’s the evil genius behind the plot to knock Starville off orbit … Drama, excitement and some out of this world characters, Space Detectives has it all, not to mention fabulous illustrations by Dapo Adeola, an extra special treat in a book that really delivers.
In a nutshell: band of toy superheroes conquer all in a doll eat doll world | The Spy Toys are quite possibly the unlikeliest band of superheroes you could to hope to read about: Dan is a teddy bear accidentally built 1000 times stronger than he should have been; Arabella is a rag doll with the attitude of a bad-tempered rattlesnake; and Flax the rabbit is actually a custom-made police robot. All of them have computerised brains so, rejected by the specialised toy factory that made them, they are recruited by the mysterious Auntie, head of the Department of Secret Affairs and assigned a special mission to protect the prime minister’s son. A fast-moving adventure ensues, a mix of daft but exciting action scenes, wisecracks, slapstick and some proper character development too. Black and white illustrations by Tim Wesson add to the all-round appeal. Young readers who relish this cracking toy story will also enjoy My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons and Hamish and the Worldstoppers by Danny Wallace. ~ Andrea Reece