Amelia and her friends embark upon another adventure in this final installment of the quirky and charming Amelia Fang series. The book opens with Amelia’s excitement about attending her friend’s birthnight celebrations but when her parents are struck down with the Frankenflu, she has to take her baby brother Vincent with her. Amelia has rather mixed emotions about her stinky, snotty little bro, especially once she discovers that babysitting is not as easy as it looks. When Vincent disappears into a mysterious land where all squished toads go, Amelia and her friends have to stage a daring rescue. It’s with trepidation that they set off to The Pond Beyond, knowing that it’s strictly off limits to non-toads and Vincent will be very hard to find.
Nine-year-old Rose rates this series finale as “hilarious, with plenty of disgusting bits, a good amount of suspense and a lovely ending”. I’m in agreement; both she and I really enjoyed the latest escapades of Amelia and her friends, appreciating the blend of comedy and adventure. Florence and Tangine are as funny as ever, and the story benefits from the liberal sprinkling of spooky humour found in the rest of the series as well as an abundance of slime and other nose-wrinkling additions. There are some fabulous new characters in this story, our favourite was Freda Frumpton, and the loyalty and bravery shown between Amelia and her friends throughout their quest makes the story particularly heartwarming; their strong sense of friendship and their ability to see the good in someone is a highlight throughout the series. Amelia’s frustration with her baby brother at the beginning of the book will also be very relatable to many readers. As always, Amelia is a little wiser by the end of the book and takes her readers along on her learning journey.
Of course this book is chock full of Laura Ellen Anderson’s delightfully endearing illustrations (we always find the maps especially appealing!) and with Hallowe’en just around the corner we think it’s a toadtastically spooky read. “I’d toadally recommend this book to any readers age 7 and up, it’s witty, funny and exciting. If only there could be more!” says Rose. Hear hear.
Rose A (age 9) and Louise A, Bavaria, Germany
Amelia Fang and the Trouble with Toads, by Laura Ellen Anderson, is published today (Egmont Books).