Thursday, 31 July 2014

Dixie O'Day and the Great Diamond Robbery- Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy

The Blurb

Dixie O'Day and his best friend Percy are off on holiday, and drive straight into adventure!

Peaches Miaow, the fabulous pop star, has her priceless diamond necklace stolen from the Hotel Splendide in the crime of the century. Can Dixie and Percy track down the sinister figures at the heart of the mystery?

Pack your bags for a thrilling trip filled with glamourpusses, cat burglars and seaside fun in this gorgeous chapter book with a chapter for each night of the week, as well as plenty of exciting extra material.

The Review

I am beyond excited that the next Dixie book has finally ventured out into the big wide world.  My son and I read the first in the series, Dixie O'Day in the Fast Lane last year and fell in love with Dixie and his sidekick Percy.  It's no exaggeration to say this has been one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year in our house, and I don't just mean by Zachary!

Everything we liked about the first book is back.  Lovable characters- check.  High drama-check.  Beautiful illustrations- check.  Additional extras, maps to envisage the places in the story, chapters which are perfect in length and substance- check, check, check.

However, there are enough changes to distinguish Dixie O'Day and the Great Diamond Robbery from what has gone before.  The holiday setting worked well and Peaches Miaow is the ultimate in glamorous- my son developed quite the soft spot for her.  I also felt the 'baddies' were just naughty enough without being nightmare-inducing and of course they get their comeuppance in the end.

The vocabulary in the book will stretch most children in the target market, introducing new words to expand their language development.  There are humorous elements and a moral message.  It is all round good old-fashioned fun, and the wonderful illustrations bring the text to life.  The illustration on page 99 of Percy and Peaches is my ultimate favourite- utterly simplistic but beautifully evocative- I want a larger version of it for my wall!!!

Overall, we were not disappointed.  The only disappointment came when we finished it at break-neck speed and we realised we had a long wait for the next Dixie adventure!

Dixie O'Day and the Great Diamond Robbery is out today, published by The Bodley Head.

With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this title.

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