Amelia Fang and the Trouble with Toads
Laura Ellen Anderson
This has been such a terrific series with smashing characters and I’m sad to learn that it’s the last of the Amelia Fang books; so too will countless young fans of the stories.
In this adventure, (I was laughing out loud by page three) we get to meet Vincent, Amelia’s very stinky, very snotty and very bothersome baby brother. As the story opens Amelia is excitedly preparing to join the gang of friends at Grimaldi’s birthnight celebrations. But then she learns that her mother Countess Frivoleeta (along with others in the household) has been struck down by Frankenflu and if Amelia is to go to the birthnight party then so too must her revolting little brother. A frustrating dilemma, but that much wanted time for herself is about to be sacrificed for the greater good.
Fortunately, Squashy, Grimaldi and Florence are on hand to help with the babysitting but it’s not long before Vincent has done a vanishing act, rolling himself into a mysterious, somewhat threatening land; the place to which all squished toads go. Unless he’s to be toadally and irrevocably lost, Amelia and friends must go after him.
Fortunately they have recourse to that pop-up wardrobe of Grimaldi’s so they’re able to don toad disguises and head to somewhere completely off limits unless you ARE a toad.
Moreover, toads don’t fart …
There’s SO much to relish in this tale: that the friends follow a snot trail; how Amelia truly loves her baby brother despite everything; the way the friends pull together as a supportive team no matter what, sharing their feelings at just the right time; Florence prancing and pirouetting across that cave floor; the terrific character that is Furgus; how much Amelia and other characters learn about themselves and each other during the course of the story, not forgetting, Tagine’s shoe revelation.
And the ending is just perfect – except that it IS the end. Except for Amelia’s favourite memories gallery which is a fangtastic finale.
A complete triumph both visually and verbally for Laura. I can’t wait to see what she’s got coming next.