Weird water creatures and mad explorers combine in a dazzlingly original children's fantasy adventure story
The book represents a brilliant combination of text and image, being beautifully illustrated throughout. Philip Reeve's delightfully zany creations are brought to life through Sarah McIntyre's energetic and witty drawings.
The characters are deliciously quirky, with the mythical and magical elements showing an inventiveness worthy of Eva Ibbotson. There is an anarchic feel to this book, which is perhaps some of the reason it put me in mind of her work. The plot is equally strange and wonderful, featuring the most bizarre competition I've ever had the pleasure of reading about, islands that wander around the seas, mermaids, sea monkeys and a dastardly villain.
I've really emphasised the humour here, because it is one of the defining features of the book. Let me just say, though, that I tend not to enjoy the slightly-too-silly-for-me humour sometimes found in 'boys' books'. This is not in that category. Brilliantly bonkers yes, but not pants-and-bums silly.
In short, if you enjoy slightly mad humour, magic and/or adventure, this is a book you will love.