Monster Doughnuts: Cyclops on a Mission / Real Pigeons Nest Hard

Monster Doughnuts: Cyclops on a Mission
Gianna Pollero, illustrated by Sarah Horne
Piccadilly Press

The sequel to Monster Doughnuts sees crotchety cyclops, Mr Harris, back for another delectably daft mission with ten year old Grace and her family from Cake Hunters bakery.
(In case you haven’t read about fearless Grace in the first book, her special monster-destroying technique involves baking cakes with a large sprinkling of an explosive kind of baking powder.)
The 360 year old cyclops has become Grace’s partner in crime on this new assignment from the Secret Service – to rid the city of the dastardly Bottom Biter that is creating let’s say, extreme discomfort in the nether regions of anybody unfortunate enough to become its victim.

It’s possible that the one-eyed member of the team could be an asset but during training sessions all that Mr H seems interested in doing is consuming not only monsters but doughnuts from the bakery and any other delicacies he can lay his hands on too. He does however appear to have quite an aptitude for baking but then as well as gobbling up his own fairy cakes, his passion for the sweet stuff causes him to visit Monster World where a potentially useful encounter takes place and some ‘valuable evidence’ is acquired.
Time to head off to the Natural History Museum …

Then from HQ comes news of another development concerning those the BB has attacked. Catching the creature has just become even more crucial.

KS2 readers looking for something wacky, witty and wonderfully wild with lashings of laugh-out-loud moments need look no further. Once again Sarah Horne has done a smashing job illustrating the various monsters and there’s further fun provided in the monster glossary that follows Gianna Pollero’s tasty tale.

Real Pigeons Nest Hard
Andrew McDonald, illustrated by Ben Wood

The city-protecting crime fighting pigeons Rock, Frillback, Grandpouter, Tumbler and Homey return in a third set of loosely linked cases.
First, Beardy Vulture persuades them to take on the search for his missing extra large nest, which he claims has been stolen by humans; it’s either that or, so they think, risk getting cursed by the bone eating bird. Disguises are definitely required for this.
Episode two sees Rock et al discovering a beastly human child but why is she roaming in the park without her humans? According to the little one she’s escaping from a horrible monster. Now all they need to do is to return Kid X to her family – almost all anyway.

Awoken by their rumbly tummies, our crime-busting birdies learn that Homey’s family is being held hostage – It’s a case of bird-knapping! Heroic as ever, the pigeons resolve to find the relations he’s not seen since he was a baby. Thus begins another rescue mission and it’s not long before they discover some of their previous adversaries.
Episode three of this fun book that’s ideal for new solo readers, ends on a cliff hanger that paves the way for book 4 so there’s more to look forward to.

Bursting with humour, and with a great cast of characters (COO-l and otherwise) brought to life in Ben Wood’s zany visuals that also up the pace, this graphic novel/ picture book hybrid is huge fun. The book concludes with some words of ecological wisdom and a couple of drawing activities.

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