King Flashypants and the Creature from Crong

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Andy Riley, King Flashypants and the Creature from Crong, Hodder Children’s Books, 9 Feb 2017, 225pp., $15.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781444929607

Edwin Flashypants is a young king who hates vegetables and loves his trusty companions – Minister Jill, Edwin’s guardian in so many ways – Megan the Jester, Edwin’s best friend and ally in her equal dislike of all vegetables – and Colin, a very loyal if not undersized horse.

King Edwin reigns over his kingdom with bravery and kindness.  Edwinland is a place of friendship and joy so, when fear comes to Village with news of pending danger from a multi-eyed monster – the Voolith, Creature from Crong – King Edwin and his friends set out to conquer the threat.  However, despite their courage, it will not be a simple task.  Emperor Nurbison, the most evil ruler in the world, lurks nearby with his nasty assistant, Globulus and they are determined to foil King Edwin’s quest.

I must admit, I get a little nervous when a book is promoted as ‘laugh out loud funny!’.  The expectation is high indeed and, while King Flashypants and the Creature of Crong didn’t put me into fits of laughter, I was slightly amused along the way – especially by the wonderful drawings of author/ illustrator, Riley.  In fact, the illustrations are so fabulous, I would have loved to see this book in the form of a graphic novel such as the comic pages that Riley has included as an ‘end-note’ – The Amazing Adventures of Emperor Nurbison’s Two-Headed Rat.  This part is laugh-out-loud funny.

The writing is very accessible – well-spaced and slightly oversized – and the creative combinations of quirky images and unusual fonts make it visually interesting throughout.  King Flashypants and the Creature from Crong is a great beginner chapter book for competent Stage 1 readers and a good follow-along book for reading out loud one-on-one.

While (some) adults may not find this book hilarious, I am sure there will be numerous children with a dislike of vegetables who will enjoy King Edwin’s adventures.

Reviewed by Jennifer Mors

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