Whilst his school friends are visiting Darkwater Bay on a fossil-hunting trip, Mortimer Keene was in the Science lab busily putting the finishing touches to his latest flying machine. Legend of a sea monster is dismissed as nonsense by everyone on the trip but when the monster rises from the deep and starts wrapping its tentacles around children and teachers it appears that the Beast of the Bay is no mythical monster. And with chaos ensuing, Mrs. Moray decides that there is only one person who is needed at a time like this…Mortimer Keene and his flying machine to the rescue, hopefully…
As a primary school teacher I’ve experienced the occasional dismal school trip where it’s cold and wet, luckily I’ve never been attacked by a sea monster. The exploits of Mortimer Keene is such a fun read that is told in hilarious rhyming prose which flows seamlessly from beginning to end with no rhyme or line feeling forced or out of place. The short rhymes make it an ideal read for newly independent readers and there are heaps of illustrations that show the action unfolding. The artwork, by the awesome Chris Mould, in neon green brings another level of fun and shows the beast enjoying itself as as it frightens children and terrifies teachers.
Lots of additional content is included. Before the story there are character profiles with portraits and each character’s special feature, weak point and favourite phrase is given. These are all hilarious. Special features include having a cheery face and being a geography teacher. They are perfectly identifiable and are things that young children would no doubt say about their friends and adults. An abundance of extras at the back of the book include: a labelled diagram of Mortimer Keene’s aquaplane and his beast defeating soundwhammer, facts about a real sea monster - the Giant Squid, a highly amusing A-Z glossary of murky monsters, instructions for making a handprint sea monster and a true or false quiz. There is enough in the back matter alone to keep readers amused for hours.
Rhyming stories are a really accessible way for newly independent readers to enjoy longer and more challenging books and Mortimer Keene serves up fast-paced action and plenty of humour in his latest adventure. Great fun!
Recommended for 6+.