By Author / Illustrator
David Fickling Books
A funny adventure perfect for 8-12 year olds, with brilliant black and white illustrations throughout. If Peter Pan had been a girl... with a beard... then she'd have probably been called King Coo!! Meet our hero Ben Pole, he's on the run from Monty Grabbe when he discovers a forest with rope swings , water slides, a wombat called Herbert and best of all KING COO! But watch out - Cow-pat-a-pults to the ready!! Monty and his gang have a dastardly plan and Ben and Coo need to come up with their best invention yet...
Bullies in stories need to get their just desserts and in this story Monty, Bertie and Gertie are certainly the recipients of theirs. Adam Stower's fast paced story illustrated by the author, is full of innovative ideas and some very clever drawings of King Coo's inventions. Ben Pole, usually known as Bean Pole, is bullied at school and is hoping to get away without encountering Monty and his friends until the end of term, only a few days away. But this is not to be and escaping from them he falls into a whole and ends up in the kingdom of King Coo, who is actually a girl with a long beard! At this stage the reader has to just sit back and enjoy the ride and laugh at the way in which the pair get their own back on the bullies. The Map of King Coo's Trap Alley on pages 92-3, which shows the Drop'n Plop Bridge, and the Flusher give the flavour of the story well. There is a plot of sorts in which Monty thinks he will capture Ben and gain a huge reward along with the Mayor but Ben and King Coo outwit this very cleverly and King Coo turns up sans beard at this point which is quite a shock. It isn't really explained why she has a beard but I am not sure it really matters! This is a small book to handle with drawings on every page, sometimes across two pages, and will delight particularly boys partly because of the toilet humour, but also because of the message that bullies don't win. 175 pages / Ages 7/8+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, school librarian.
Suggested Reading Age 7+