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English teacher interested in language and culture, and also in fiction using magic, myth, folklore and the supernatural. Now teaching part-time in a Leicester Upper School (ages 14-19) and also writing for children, teens and teachers.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Review: About Zooming Time, Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith

Another fantastic outing for the zany alien!

Opal Moonbaby remains delightfully wacky in this brilliant sequel. I greatly enjoyed this and know that all existing Opal fans will just lap it up.

If you haven't already read the first book, I'd suggest you do that rather than reading this review, which may contain spoilers for the first book :) My review of book 1 is here. You might also enjoy this fab and non-spoilery guest post from Maudie Smith about Opal going to school. 

Martha and Robbie are again at the centre of the story, with Opal zooming in to upend their world. This time, Opal must fit in as an earth girl, including going to school - and there is also the threat of other aliens, Mercurials, on the horizon. As in the first book, Opal is hilarious in her misunderstandings and enormous enthusiasm for everything earthly, while Martha at times despairs at her lack of awareness of how much she stands out.

As with the first novel, this is genuinely funny (without resorting to poo/pants jokes) and sweet at the same time. Opal's determination to fit in and her blithe lack of understanding - while being absolutely convinced she's doing everything right - make for a hilariously entertaining story. I would have liked to see more of Garnet, Opal's Mingle (I'm sure all readers must have fallen in love with him in the first book), but he is here and still just as wonderful.

There is a lovely story about friendship in here, as Opal and Martha cope with more people being introduced into Opal's circle and Robbie has his own subplot on a friendship theme. The book also includes an exciting build up to a climax with the potential threats to Opal's safety and the success of her mission.

Overall, a highly recommended 9-12 read for boys and girls.

From the book description:

Opal Moonbaby is spending a year on Earth. A whole year! Martha can't wait to take her to school, to introduce her to her friends and to recreate all the fun they had during the summer.

But things don't turn out quite as expected and before Martha knows it, Opal is off making new friends, doing new things and throwing herself into life on Earth - and Martha can't keep up. 

When Opal's Uncle Bixie warns them that the nasty Mercurials, enemies from their home planet of Carnelia, are on their way to Earth, planning mischief, Martha begins to worry. But Opal is far too busy making friends to be bothering about those stupid Mercurials. Besides, her eyes would z-ray them immediately and she'd dazzle-kick them all the way back to Carnelia. Wouldn't she?

Published 7 Feb 2013 by Orion Children's Books
More info on the publisher's website
My grateful thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy

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