Friday, 15 June 2018

ReadItDaddy's Second Picture Book of the Week - Week Ending 15th June 2018 - "Hoakes Island: A Fiendish Puzzle Adventure" by Helen and Ian Friel (Laurence King Publishing)

Our second Book of the Week this week is a truly fantastic, original and innovative mystery that will have you completely engrossed from the first turn of the page...Welcome to Hoakes Island!
C is becoming quite the junior detective. She absolutely adores even the slightest whiff of a mystery, particularly if solving that mystery involves a bit of Sherlock Holmes-like deduction or sheer brain power.

So "Hoakes Island: A Fiendish Puzzle Adventure" by Helen and Ian Friel was tailor-made for her.

In an age where books are competing with other distractions (sadly, in C's case, the mighty lure of YouTube or screen time) it's great to see something that uses a simple but beautifully effective piece of visual trickery to lure you into a deep and satisfying adventure in a mysterious destination.

The adventure begins when Henry Hoakes goes missing and Hoakes Island Amusement Park is plunged into grave danger. 

The book -  a hastily assembled collection of diary entries, notes, puzzles and clues, is the only key to find out what’s happened to Henry and stop the dastardly developers who want to knock down the park. 

The future of the theme park is at stake, and only you can save the say - and poor Henry!
Solve the puzzles and discover keys and clues as you travel around the island on a quest to rescue Rita the anteater, Granville the gorilla and the rest of the talking animals who live there. It's a race against time that only a puzzle master can win! 

Gorgeous illustrations use a simple but effective colour pallette - for a good reason as you'll soon discover!
This ingenious and immersive puzzle adventure comes with a fold-out map of Hoakes Island and a special red lens to discover secret messages and clues.  Kids will absolutely adore using the lens to unlock the secrets of Hoakes Island - and Henry's ultimate fate. 

Who needs a Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass when you've got this natty device to uncover clues with instead?
The whole book works so fantastically, it's almost like opening a present when you start to unfold the map, unhook the red lens from the book cover and get fully engrossed in the adventure itself. C and her big brain managed to work through the story in fairly quick measure, thoroughly enjoying the mix of visual and logical puzzles on offer. 

Utterly mesmerisingly fantastic!

C's best bit: Using the lens to read the clues! It calls for a keen eye and a lot of attention to detail!

Daddy's favourite bit: A hugely impressive piece of immersive fiction that uses a dazzling array of neat tricks and hooks to keep kids occupied for far longer than your average throwaway app. Loved it!

"Hoakes Island" by Helen and Ian Friel is out now, published by Laurence King Publishing (kindly supplied for review).