Book Review: Hooey Higgins and the Shark by Steve Voake

Hooey Higgins and the Shark by Steve Voake is a fun children's chapter book. Hooey Higgins and his best friend Twig have their hearts set on buying, and more importantly eating, the giant chocolate egg in Mr. Danson's store window. However, they have no where near enough money to buy it, and so they start thinking about how to get enough money. The appearance of a shark on shore poses the perfect opportunity for the boys. The figure that there will eventually be a reward for capturing the shark, and start planning. While testing their ketchup heavy shark catching plan, they discover what they think is a giant sea urchin and form a new plan which leads to disappointment, and some excitement when the urchin turns out to be an undetonated mine. Can their wild plans get them the chocolate they crave, or will it all explode in their faces?

Hooey Higgins and the Shark
was a fun read, made even better by Emma Dodson's black and white illustrations. Hooey and twigs are the outrageous and totally realistic sketches, of boys like the ones I remember spending my time with at that age. Wild plans, crazy schemes, and adventure around every corner even when they day consists of nothing more that a walk to the beach. The characters; including the family members, friends, and even pets, are all zany and leave a lot of room for more books about Hooey and Twig. I think the only thing some readers might have trouble with is the English phrases and currency that might through some readers for a loop. However, this could also lead to some great discussions on how things are the same or different in different countries.

I recommend Hooey Higgins and the Shark to readers around seven and older. The story is fast paced, a quick read, and great fun. It can delight readers of all ages and genders. I will be adding Steve Voake to the list of authors I want to read more from, and if the rest of his work is as fun and zany as this, recommend to the parents and children that come to the children's desk looking for reads that will interest young reluctant readers and struggling readers that become easily bored by the standard fare they are offered.
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