Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things

Red Reading Hub is thrilled to be part of the blog tour for this new Uncle Pete and Tiny Mouse book.

Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things
David C. Flanagan, illustrated by Will Hughes
Little Door Books

Barely giving themselves time to recover from their magical blanket delivery – but time enough to consume a fair amount of their favourite foods – Uncle Pete and his indomitable sidekick, TM, are off again. Now they want to track down their plane, abandoned when it ran out of stardust; surely it couldn’t have ended up in the Forest of Lost Things could it? And what’s more the two couldn’t really be thinking of entering this alarming-sounding place where it’s recommended nobody sets foot, to search for it could they? 

Of course they could, even when squirrel leader, Shona, is horrified at the notion. Nonetheless she does make sure the adventurers are equipped to the best of her ability before they sally forth, aided and abetted by the Squirrelcoaster. Their journey takes them over land and into peril deep, deep beneath the sea – bother those cans of beans – but thank the universe for those emergency underpants of Uncle Pete’s, one of the more sensible items he stuffed into that rucksack of his. Finally the two, by different means, reach the forest, but then they need to locate one another.

Uncle Pete has an encounter with an owl that’s far from happy about the present state of the forest, an erstwhile peaceful, magical place and now far too full of rubbish. 

Said owl also talks of giant cats, incredibly grumpy ones; the same felines that TM has already met and happily not been consumed by on account of her extreme smallness. Happily too, Uncle Pete and TM are soon reunited and the search for the plane continues. However, there’s also the pressing problem of tidying and decluttering the forest and recycling as much as possible, that the former raises. Recycling though is getting a bit ahead of things as the lost plane must be located for that to happen. On the lost theme too is a little polar bear, Berg, that they come upon and invite to join their adventure.

An adventure about which I’ll say no more, other than that there are further twists and turns, thousands of fireflies, a multi-stage plan fuelled by the thought of feasting on favourite foods- again! – a terrific squash and a squeeze; plus a finale that leads neatly into Uncle Pete and TM’s next adventure. 

Hurrah! say all the readers of and listeners to, this terrific tale with its important environmental theme, as well as the thrills and spills, kindness and consideration one has come to expect from the fearless friends. Not forgetting the quirky drawings by Will Hughes that help to make this an ideal read for those fairly new to chapter books.

Make sure you check out the other stops on this blog tour too.

Uncle Pete and the Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep

Little Door Books is venturing into early-reader chapter books: this is the first. Thanks to the publisher for sending it for review.

Uncle Pete and the Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep
David C. Flanagan, illustrated by Will Hughes
Little Door Books

It’s almost impossible to imagine – a boy who has never ever slept a single wink in his entire life and that lack of sleep has no adverse consequences on his ability to embrace every day with energy and enthusiasm. Think what it must be like to be the parents of such a child.

It’s no wonder those of young Harry are at their wits end having tried every possible ploy and consulted countless doctors to get the boy to fall asleep – night after night after night for years and years and … Indeed the entire town is exhausted.

Thank goodness then for Uncle Pete who out of the blue arrives knocking at their front door, back from his exploring to replenish his supplies of baked beans and underpants. 

Having heard the family regale the tale of Harry’s insomnia, Uncle Pete offers to help. From among the contents of his rucksack he extricates a map and before you can say ‘yawn’, this eccentric uncle is off to his own home. There he heads for his shed wherein he keeps his now rusty, rickety old biplane.

What should he find has made a home in the pilot’s seat but a tiny mouse named TM. 

In a very short time, the plane has taken off bound for … Uncle Pete isn’t absolutely sure.

Their journey is, shall we say, highly eventful, both in the air and on the ground; but eventually they reach the mountain top and their destination.

I’ll say no more other than this wacky adventure with its wealth of fun details, is fuelled by large quantities of cheese, a plethora of beans, assorted underpants – rather a lot, and strawberry jam sandwiches, not forgetting stardust aplenty.

But is it a case of mission accomplished for Uncle Pete and TM?

The best way to find out is to get hold of a copy of David C. Flanagan’s comical tale with Will Hughes’ suitably quirky drawings and read it yourself. Alternatively you could try tuning in to their live event here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uncle-pete-and-the-boy-who-couldnt-sleep-book-launch-event-tickets-149531172763 on Friday May 14th

No matter what there are more adventures of Uncle Pete on the way.

I asked a few children their thoughts about never sleeping and here’s a selection of what they said:
I would love to be able to play Lego all through the nights, but the worst thing would be getting caught and told off. Samuel 6
It would be brilliant to be able to read books and my Kindle all night, but the downside would be my parents banning my favourite things for a whole week.” Emmanuelle 8
You could get out of bed in the middle of the night and get sweet snacks without anyone knowing. Also you could play games with your friends outside and never feel tired.” Leo 7
I could go out at night and do lots of different activities., play lots more sport and look at the stars more. But eventually it could get boring if you run out of things you want to do.” Spencer 8