‘Spitting Image’ by James Roy, published by Walker Books in their ‘Lightning Strikes’ series of Chapter Books. Soft cover book, ISBN: 978-1-921977-49-7
When twins Charlie and Helen arrive with their family at ‘Farmer Phil’s Fabbo Funtime Family Farm’ they are sure their day out will be boring. They had been looking forward to a day of skin-creeping thrills at a proper zoo with gorillas, reticulated pythons and an anaconda. They cannot believe their father wants to see chickens and piglets and wants to hold them.
Charlie sees their father hasn’t noticed Helen has walked off, so he follows his sister. He finds her at an enclosure where Capone, an alpaca wearing an afro wig and false eyelashes, is as interested in them as they are in him. When Helen gets out her camera and takes a close-up photo of Capone, she leans into the fence, drops her camera and falls into the enclosure after it.
From that moment on, Capone, plays 'Hide and Seek' and 'Chase Me' with Helen and Charlie, making their day at ‘Farmer Phil’s Fabbo Funtime Family Farm’ anything but boring.
“Spitting Image” is an amusing, fun read with many surprising twists and turns to the story. It includes information about farm animals that would be useful if readers were learning about them.
It is suitable for independent readers aged 8 -10 years, but its content also makes it an entertaining, fast-paced read for 10-12 year olds.
Reviewed by Anne Smith