Review Blog

May 10 2011

Tooth and Claw - ghost writing from the underground by Lazlo Strangolov (a.k.a Matt Whyman)

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Walker Books, 2011. ISBN 9781406323450.
Recommended for middle to upper primary. 'Little Lumina loves her pet beagle, Scud, even though he's been brought back from the grave by her father. But stranger things than this are surfacing in the volcanic town which is home to Dr Grubo's health clinic.'
Set in a very unusual town, this is a highly quirky story about a devoted father and a zombie dog. Lumina lives in a spa town, where there are hot springs and geysers of steam all around town.  Her father works at the local clinic, the place locals visit for their health treatments, next door to the town's power station.  The earth is bubbling and unpredictable in her town, just as is her life once her beloved beagle is brought back from the grave by her well meaning father.
Smelly, squishy and with glowing red eyes, Scud is still as lovable as ever to Lumina, and unfortunately for her, he is also still as mischievous.  What trouble can a zombie dog on the loose cause?  Find out as you travel with Lumina and some of her family friends to discover the power of love, slobber and secrets.
A nicely presented book with quirky details on each page that add to its charm.  Students will enjoy the grossness of the story that is presented with just enough gory details to make it interesting. There are some points of predictability, but enough twists to keep you guessing again.
Overall a fairly easy read that would appeal to many young readers, I would recommend it to those students that like Morris Gleitzman's Toad Rage series.
Zana Thiele

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