Genie and Teeny: The Wishing Well / Clarice Bean Scram!

These two books are additions to favourite series from Harper Collins – thanks to the publisher for sending them for review:

Genie and Teeny: The Wishing Well
Steven Lenton

This third adventure of Grant the genie, and his best friend – the puppy, Teeny picks up where the previous one left off with Tilly’s mum coming into her daughter’s bedroom and hearing strange noises coming from Grant’s “Not-a-teapot’ now officially renamed tea-lamp. Those noises are made by a deeply sleeping Grant as he dreams of being back in Genie World with his family; inside the teapot, in diminutive form, are also Tilly and Teeny. On waking Grant feels even more homesick but he responds to Tilly’s urgent whispers about the close proximity of her mum with assurances about the plan he has – one that works only with the help of we readers.

Luckily the crisis is averted and after breakfast, plan B, Tilly announces will be to get Grant back to his world. The thing is Genie World, aka Wishaluzia, is an enormous distance away, high, high in the sky: no problem there then! Or rather, a very big one – how will he travel up through the sky. It’s not long before the Elastic Fantastic Flying Machine appears, first in Tilly’s mind, then on paper and finally, once they’ve assembled and fixed together all the items collected in the garden, there stands a rocket-shaped vehicle. Off goes Grant to grab some suitable gear to wear and once attired the countdown commences. Yes, the thing does get launched but almost immediately …

Time for some light refreshments and then a new plan; one that involves a visit to a theme park with an officious security guard and a no dogs rule.

From there on the action really ramps up and there are lots of laugh-out-loud moments (for readers not the characters) and wishes (of course).

What about that much anticipated and joyful reunion between Grant and his family way up high; will it eventually take place? That would be telling …

Another brilliant tale that, with Steven’s hilarious illustrations and magical mishaps aplenty, is great for both independent readers and reading aloud.

Clarice Bean Scram!
Lauren Child

The utterly irrepressible, indomitable Clarice Bean, she with a skill for stretching the truth, returns in a summer adventure – or several, that begins on a scorchingly hot day in the first week of the holidays. Clarice is bored, saying she has nothing to do; her best friend is away on holiday for the entire break and her mum, annoyed at her daughter’s continual moaning, sends her outside into the garden. It’s there that she informs the irritating Robert Granger that her family is getting a dog. Now it’s not exactly a case of be careful what you wish for as it’s her sister Marcie who really really wants a dog, but near enough for before you can say ‘bark’, this nothing day turns into anything but.

For instance there’s the episode of the tin of spaghetti (or several) for the family’s dinner purchased at Clement’s corner shop. This leads to an encounter (also several) with a dog – a dog that just refuses to go away. Clarice’s parents meanwhile have realised that they’re supposed to be attending a wedding and off they dash to catch a plane.

Now Clarice has the tricky task of keeping this pooch a secret from Grandad who is now in charge of the household, as well as her siblings. But there’s the question of food and much more, including disposing of the animal’s ‘you-know-what’, as she quickly discovers. It’s a task that proves too much for Clarice – not the poo disposal – but keeping the presence of the dog under wraps and before long Marcie discovers it.

Happily she’s eager to accept the creature and help raise money for his food and other necessities;

but nobody else must find out about Clement as they decide to name him. Errr …

Related, as only Lauren Child’s Claire Bean can, in an utterly credible manner, with her seemingly innocent, astute observations and vivacious voice, both of which are brought to life by Lauren’s scattering of deliciously quirky collage illustrations and line drawings throughout the book this is
Irresistible reading for almost any child (and many adults) from early KS2 onwards.

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