Uncle Pete And The Forest of Lost Things by David C. Flanagan
I am extremely excited to review the second title in the Uncle Pete series. A magical, fantasy adventure series for six-to nine year-olds. Written by award-winning writer and journalist David C Flanagan featuring illustrations by Will Hughes.
Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things follows on from book one as Uncle Pete and TM embark on a new adventure to find their missing plane.
With the help of some ingenious squirrels, a kindly dolphin and a friend from the past their new adventure takes them to the strange and foreboding forest of lost things.
Along the way they encounter some scary, gigantic cats, a rogue tidal wave and other dangerous dilemmas, but with bravery, cunning and lots of jam sandwiches they overcome the obstacles and make some new friends.
Uncle Pete and TM are back on another epic adventure. After just hours on returning home they set off once again in order to locate and bring back their plane that they lost in the previous story, this time heading to The Forest of Lost Things. However, this is a dark place where no-one has ever returned and is labelled: Places You Should Not Visit. Ever! Not deterred, the pair set off on a crazy, fun journey.
Just like the first book in the series, this dinky sized chapter book is the perfect size for small hands to hold and explore. The chapters are not too lengthy encouraging the reader to build up a good reading stamina as they are not too short either. The font is large and easy to decipher with the illustrations cleverly spaced out. The black and white line drawings are beautifully presented in varying sizes and detail complementing the text well.
TM is still (in my opinion) the cutest creature in the book but he is joined by a host of other colourful and humorous animals; from Shona and Steve the squirrels, a friendly owl, a pack of large cats and a tiny polar bear called Berg. Each character comes alive with their own quirks and backstory adding to the overall plot. And what a action-packed story line we find. Wherever Uncle Pete goes he seems to encounter a magical fun adventure where anything goes. Here he travels on a squirrelcoaster, needs the assistance of his emergency underpants, finds a firefly lighthouse and uses some magical stardust.
What I love about this series is that it is written for developing readers but doesn't hold back on the plot or vocabulary choices. Not only does it takes the reader on a fantasy adventure it also allows the reader to explore some challenging vocabulary. In schools we are constantly trying to develop the children's language and add to their repertoire of words. This book illustrates this beautifully with a lovely balance of words that the children will be able to decode with more unfamiliar words and phrases thrown in alongside. A winning combination if you ask me and one I will be recommending to families of young readers.
Many thanks to Little Door Books for inviting me to join the blog tour, and to Flanagan and Hughes, the dynamic duo, in producing another great Uncle Pete story for readers to explore. Having read the end of this one I know there is another adventure on the way soon and one which I know a lot of children will be eager for.
David C. Flanagan is a writer and award-winning journalist based in the Orkney Islands. Born, raised and educated in Edinburgh, he studied journalism in the city before returning to his ancestral home in the islands where he worked as a reporter on the local weekly newspaper, The Orcadian. He’s been freelance since 2002, providing news, features and content for a variety of publications and websites. David also acts as location manager for film and television crews operating in Orkney. His first book, Board, was published by Fledgling Press in 2015 and recounted his hapless attempts to learn to surf in middle age, on the wild Atlantic coast of Orkney. He still surfs, badly, and also loves skateboarding, fitness training and walking in the Scottish mountains. Uncle Pete and the Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep is David’s first story for children, reflecting his passion for adventure stories, his love of animals, and his slightly whacky sense of humour.
Will Hughes is a young illustrator and cartoonist, recently graduated from Edinburgh College of Art. Whatever he makes, whether it is stories, cartoons or prints, he likes his work to be comic and humorous, and to tell the stories of all sorts of ridiculous things. From a old woman with a hoard of very helpful cats to burglars who have to stand on each others shoulders to rob a house. He usually draws these with a dipping ink pen and watercolour paints to create energetic, lively and fluid lines and colours.