I loved the first Anisha, Accidental Detective story and was hoping for another hilarious encounter with Anisha and her brilliantly bonkers family. Serena Patel did not disappoint.
Anisha would do anything for a quiet life, especially after all the drama around her Aunt Bindi’s wedding. But things don’t always happen the way you want. Anisha is thrilled when she, best friend Milo and new boy Govi are selected to represent the school at the National Schools Science Fair. They have the coolest experiment and it might even be good enough to win them a trip to the national space centre. But someone is out to stop them and a foam-plosion lands the friends in all kinds of trouble. Can Anisha, accidental detective, solve who is behind the science sabotage…
This is another a brilliantly funny fast-paced read from Patel that has family, friendship and science at its heart. Serena Patel makes science totally cool and readers will be reaching for the bicarb soda and vinegar to carry out their own explosive experiments - just make sure you get the quantities right (instructions are included in the book). All children will enjoy reading this laugh-out-loud story but it will particularly appeal to young Indian boys and girls who will see themselves, their families and their lives represented in a book. The book is full of Indian cultural references that are cleverly explained within the story or through footnotes.
Patel has a great understanding of her target audience and what gets children enthused about reading and this shines through in a story with relatable characters and a believable scenario. With any number of suspects, Anisha has her work cut out. Luckily, she finds support and encouragement from her loveable and often embarrassing family, particularly the awesome Granny Jas who is on tip top form with her life advice and who is always there when Anisha needs reassuring, comforting and a tasty homemade treat.
In amongst foamy corridors, paratha’s and a meditating mum, Patel deals with the important issues of friendship, trust, the difficulties in being the new kid at school and children struggling to adjust to new family dynamics.
The presentation of the story will be a hit with readers. Emma McCann’s illustrations are packed with humour and the use of bold text and capitalisation keeps things lively. Text is regularly interspersed with lists, diagrams and many of Anisha’s scientific equations.
Anisha will be back for a third adventure in July 2021 and this time she is heading off on short break with the entire family. I dread to think what kind of chaos, mischief and mayhem lies in store!
Recommended for 7+.