Sunday, July 6, 2014

An illustrated junior fiction book for boys

Monkey Boy by Donovan Bixley (Scholastic)

Jimmy Grimholt's the monkey boy on board warship HMS Fury. His job is to fetch the gun-powder for the canon crew during a battle - the lowliest dangerous job on board the ship. He's bullied by boys his age, by the snooty Lieutenant, and the rest of the motley crew but that's nothing compared to the bullies only he can see.  Will he survive the journey? Can he show everyone he's a worthy member of the team? And can he deal with his biggest fear?

Pitched for 10-13 year old boys with all the gory grotty details they could ever want. And that's not all - it's also captured in Donovan Bixley's clever funny pictures; bringing this book to a whole new level.

I hope this is the beginning of a series and I hope it goes international. It is sure to be a hit with boys who have finished reading the Dinosaur Rescue (written by Kyle Mewburn and illustrated by Donovan Bixley) series (and other illustrated chapter books) and now wanting something a bit more challenging. Written in several point of views (omniscient, Jimmy, Will) with a non-linear structure, and complemented with illustrations (stand-alones, and comic-style) and fact pages (with diagrams of ships hull etc).

Check out the book trailer ...

and Donovan Bixley's page on his website.

Teacher notes here.

Donovan Bixley is a talented artist and designer with a range of styles. He was the illustrator of The Three Bears (Sort Of) that won the Children's Choice in the recent New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. Other books he's illustrated include: Phoebe and the Night Creatures, Wacko Kakapo, The Tuatara and the Skink, and A Right Royal Christmas.  He's also the illustrator of the very popular illustrated junior fiction series Dinosaur Rescue.



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