Dungeon of Doom (Prince Jake) by Sue Mongredien and Mark Beech
|Dungeon of Doom (Prince Jake) by Sue Mongredien and Mark Beech|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Graeme K Talboys|
|Summary: A delightful tale – fun, just a bit spooky, and ideal for a bedtime read.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 80||Date: March 2009|
|External links: Author's website|
Jake is a prince of Morania and he lives in the royal castle with his parents, the King and Queen, his older sister Petunia and his younger brother Ned. Egged on by Ned and aided by the chance discovery of a key, Jake sneaks down to the dungeons one night and has a spooky encounter. This leads to… well I won't give the end away, save to say all ends well, especially for Jake.
In the wake of the hype surrounding some children's books it is a joy to find something that is as good-hearted and unpretentious as this. Well-written, fast paced, full of detail, and gently humorous, it is one of those books (along with its companion titles) that I imagine would stay in a child's memory for a very long time.
Underlying what may sound rather slight fare to some adult ears, there is a respect for the intelligence of the main audience. The characters are well developed, likeable, and react as one would expect of any family. The plot is sufficiently intriguing to keep the reader going without becoming too complex. And above all it manages that rare feat of being a book that appeals to a number of different audiences. Those at the younger end of the audience will enjoy having it read to them. Slightly older or more confident readers will have the pleasure of a fun book they can manage for themselves. And parents (or any other oldie who likes kids' books) will appreciate a well constructed book that is written by someone who is clearly an expert at what they do.
Mark Beech's illustrations are in the style of Quentin Blake, but are very much the artist's own. Full of quirky detail and wonderfully expressive they are a perfect complement to the text.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
If this appeals to you then have a look at Sticky Gum Fun (Prince Jake) by Sue Mongredien and Mark Beech and Oliver Moon and the Monster Mystery by Sue Mongredien.
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