Friday, 24 May 2013

Murilla Gorilla - Jungle Detective by Jennifer Lloyd and Jacqui Lee (Simply Read Books)

This is a very interesting little book that popped through our letterbox, courtesy of Simply Read Books. Interesting because at first glance it would be a very very easy book to completely misjudge. A Gorilla detective eh? OK that's fairly novel. But dive in and you discover lots of really cool things.

1) She's a lady - whoah whoah whoah she's a lady
2) She's no Mme Ramotswe by any means but she runs her own detective agency
3) She's slightly disorganised and takes a while to get a handle on a situation but once she does, she's as sharp as a tack.

Murilla Gorilla is potentially one of the most interesting children's book characters in a long time, and Jennifer Lloyd needs to be congratulated for creating a character, a setting and stories that have broad appeal across genders and age groups (though this book is aimed at 6-8 year olds there's absolutely no reason whatsoever that you can't read its 'chapterised' format to younger children. Charlotte absolutely ate it up!)

The story concerns a mysterious muffin theft from Ms Chimpanzee's stall. Murilla Gorilla is called to the scene, and after a slightly slow start (hilarity ensues as we see that Murilla's morning routine is pretty similar to ours. WHERE ARE MY CAR KEYS? Oh they're in the microwave, of course!) Murilla discovers lots of interesting clues around Ms Chimpanzee's stall.

Strange hand-like footprints are the first clue. Who might have feet like that?
Then there are crumbs (mmm, tasty muffin crumbs) so after Murilla makes a quick note, she rather unprofessionally scoffs the evidence!

The trail goes slightly cold until Murilla Gorilla comes up with a fabulous plan to lure the muffin thief out of hiding. Will this genius plan work?

We'll leave you to discover the answer for yourselves. This book really feels fresh, exciting and it's hilariously funny and we won't shut up about it until you've checked it out. Murilla Gorilla is utterly fab!

Watch out for her next adventure, Murilla the Gorilla and the Lost Parasol. Coming very soon!

Charlotte's best bit: Tracing the footprint trails with her finger, and laughing very loudly at where Murilla's detective badge ended up.

Daddy's favourite bit: A brilliant broad-appeal book that both girls AND boys will love. Mums and Dads seem to think that boys won't read a book with a female lead? They really need to try this book, in that case. It's ace!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Simply Read Books)