HARRY THE POISONOUS CENTIPEDE’S BIG ADVENTURE by Lynne Reid Banks

HARRY THE POISONOUS CENTIPEDE’S BIG ADVENTURE

Another Story to Make You Squirm
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this second book about Harry the Poisonous Centipede (1998) our intrepid hero and his friend George are captured by a "hoo-man" and are catapulted into a series of adventures precipitated by the need to find their way home. Banks, in the Indian in the Cupboard books, has previously used the traditional device of having an inanimate object or a tiny creature as the focus of a story with great success. But in spite of an unusual hero and a potentially interesting premise, this book is seriously flawed. The condescending, intrusive, irritating voice of the narrator dooms it from the start. Do you want facts about centipedes? The reader is not exactly "really lucky to have me to tell you about them." Again and again poor Harry is left in the dark about key elements in his adventures, but "you can know because I'll tell you." Most of the adventures suffer from poor construction and repetition. Although every episode places the centipedes in mortal danger and they land on their many feet every time, they succeed more often by lucky intervention than by ingenuity. Just in case the reader is unaware of these fortunate coincidences, that pesky narrator is there with asides and reminders, and to state outright that sheer luck is responsible for the heroes’ escape. Ross's black-and-white, engaging illustrations provide lively visual clarity, but they cannot save this mess. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: March 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029139-7
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2001




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