Review Blog

Feb 11 2013

The No.1 car spotter and the car thieves by Atinuke

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Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 978 1 4063 2080 0.
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Chapter book. Nigeria. Crime. Humour permeates this story as No.1 sits high in the palm oil tree spotting the expensive cars approaching his mother's chop-house. Spotting a car he yells to his mother who in turn fires up the kitchen making wonderful smells to stop the drivers in their tracks. It works well until the day that cars begin to be stolen from under all their noses. No.1 is at a loss, as is his family, especially when some of their customers blame them and refuse to stop there anymore.
But No.1's brain is turning over, he knows the Police Chief is working hard on the case, because it is happening all over the country, and he wants to help find the crooks. But each idea he has turns sour and he is disconsolate. But when their very good customer, the Prof, invites No.1 to drive with him to the city in his Firebird, the car is stolen with No.1 still inside. His love of cars is paramount in saving the day.
This splendid story is the third in a series about No.1, written by Atinuke, born in Nigeria and now living in Wales. The stories present a totally different lifestyle than the one known to our readers, and will open their eyes to the lives of children in Africa, particularly Nigeria. The humour underlying the whole story will easily draw the readers in, and the information about No.1's family is simply intoxicating. The background is tantalisising, a taste of somewhere quite unknown to most of us, and will add to our knowledge of the wider world in which we live.
Fran Knight

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