Sunday, 13 January 2013

Review: Casper Candlewacks in the Time Travelling Toaster by Ivan Brett


Most villages have an idiot but Casper's village is full of them. So being bright makes Casper something of an outsider.

Luckily Casper has Lamp to him company – his less-than-bright best mate who is also a strangely ingenious inventor.

Lamp’s latest invention is a time-travelling toaster – or so he says. But can a toaster really transport them through space and time or will they both just end up as toast?

The final tale in the hilarious Casper Candlewacks series. You’d have to be an idiot to miss it!


I am beginning to feel a little like a stuck record when it comes to reviews for Ivan Brett's superb Casper Candlewacks books. So much so that I do believe I have now run out of superlatives to describe them. And as my review of the third book in the series, Attack of the Brainiacs, was little more than a recycling of my reviews of the previous two books, I'm feeling more than a little stuck right now.

If you have an 8+ boy (or girl) who has not yet read Ivan's books then you really must get your hands on them by whatever (legal) means necessary. Ivan's work is possibly overshadowed by the likes of Andy Stanton's Mr Gum books, whose popularity were helped just a little by a celebrity endorsement from Kate Winslet, but in my opinion the Casper Candlewacks books are just as good, if not better then the Mr Gum series. Back when I read the first Casper book I suggested that comparing his writing with that of Roald Dahl would be premature, and now we are at the fourth book and I think it is fair to say that the books compare very favourably. Yes, I now think David Walliams is the true successor to Dahl's crown, but if Walliams is the new king of funny children's books then Ivan Brett is certainly the prince.

I have enjoyed all of the books in this series so much that it is difficult to name a favourite, but this latest one, Casper Candlewacks in the Time Travelling Toaster, is certainly a contender. In this book Casper, his friend Lamp Flannigan and the vile Anemonie Blight find themselves flung one hundred years into the future by Lamp's latest invention, a time machine made from a toaster and some old clocks and watches. What they find there is the stuff of nightmares (for Casper at least), and this time maybe even the boy genius won't be able to save the day and the future of the village of Corne-on-the-Kobb.

Sadly this is the final outing for Casper Candlewacks. I do not know whether Ivan Brett has anything else lined up at the moment, but I for one will be keeping my eyes peeled for any news on this front. My thanks go to the ever wonderful Rosi at HarperCollins for sending me a copy to review, despite the best efforts of Royal Mail to scupper this plan. Casper Candlewacks in the Time Travelling Toaster was published at the beginning of January.

1 comment:

  1. Never read any of these, but they sound very cool - will be keeping an eye out!

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