Tuesday 21 May 2013

The Toucan Brothers by Tor Freeman (Macmillan Children's Books)

I sincerely wish The Toucan Brothers covered our town. You've no idea what it's like getting quality plumbing done.

As ever, I find it near impossible to believe we've never featured anything by the wonderful Tor Freeman on our blog - but we're quickly playing catchup and The Toucan Brothers is one heck of a fantastic introduction to her work, and a stunning example of how she won a Maurice Sendak fellowship, the last one before he unfortunately passed away.

I digress. The Toucan Brothers is zany, knockabout and so utterly beautifully detailed that it's immediately become a firm bedtime favourite. We meet Sammy and Paul, the brothers themselves - who patrol the pipework and plumbing of the busy town of Tapton.

For years, their expertise has been appreciated far and wide. Blocked loos, dodgy showers, wonky dripping taps - there's nothing this dynamic duo can't turn their hands (or wings) to when it comes to plumbing.

But when a shady new character comes to town promising cheaper plumbing, and lots of flashy gimmicks, The Toucan Brothers swiftly find their trade literally drying up.

Flash Rover has all the moves, and soon the townsfolk are turning to him rather than Sammy and Paul so they've got no choice but to shut up shop.

But what's this? What shoddy tricks has Flash Rover been tucking up his furry sleeves? When Tapton suddenly turns into Venice, can anyone save the day? You bet your beak! The Toucan Brothers can!

Wonderfully detailed, chock full of colour and brilliance, Tor Freeman has delivered a book that's a surefire shoe-in for a metric ton of awards this year. Utterly perfect!

Charlotte's best bit: She has a theory about figures of authority and messy eating (Check out the mayor and his mint-choc chip ice cream!)

Daddy's favourite bit: Lots of deliciously subtle homages to some of my favourite artists in this. See if you can spot them all. C'est ci n'est pas un Sewer Pipe :)

(Kindly sent to us for review by Macmillan Children's Books)