The Dodo made Me Do It
Jo Simmons, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Instead of the usual deadly dull summer holidays, 10-year-old Danny yearns for adventure. As usual though, he’s sent off to spend six whole weeks with Granny Flora who lives in the wilds of Scotland in a farmhouse, in a village called Kinoussie. To make matters worse nothing ever happens in this outlandish environ, it receives an awful lot of rain, has a population of ‘weirdies, oldies and older weirdies’. Promising it is not, particularly as his gran is porridge obsessed and the place is over-run with midges.
There’s only one person of around Danny’s age anywhere in the vicinity and that’s science-mad Susie. ‘You can make this work, Danny!’ his mum tells him as they part. ‘There is fun to be had up here. You just have to make it happen!’
And make it happen is what Danny does.
Over breakfast – yes porridge – Danny learns of a shipwreck just off the coast a very long time ago.
Quickly the lad hatches a plan of action A & E: Adventure & Excitement, he calls it, that involves visiting the precise location of the shipwreck, finding enough treasure to make him sufficient money to buy a train ticket home and once there to spend his booty on a holiday in a sunny spot somewhere distant.
Instead what he discovers is something even more unlikely than ancient treasure, it’s can you believe, a dodo!
Thereafter, said dodo gets Danny (along with Susie who becomes a kind of sidekick) into all manner of tricky situations just trying to keep the creature safe, fed and quiet.
In addition though, he finds himself confronting a criminal who’s come to Kinoussie seeking a place to hide away. Hmmm!
Why did he ever wish for excitement?
With a liberal sprinkling of comical drawings from Sheena Dempsey, this cracking Jo Simmons’ tale is to say the least, hilarious. Perfect holiday reading.
If you need more suggestions for your children’s summer reading, you could try Toppsta’s Summer Reading Guide