Who doesn’t like combing the beach for treasures? Amongst the flotsam washed up on the shore can be the most wondrous of things. In the oceans there are a group of islands that are looking for flotsam too, the rambling isles - these are giant stone structures that look like islands but who actually wander the ocean. Theses rambling isles collect flotsam for their elaborate headpieces that have cleverly named ‘seagwigs’. And Oliver Crisp is set to have the biggest adventure of his life on one of these rambling islands.
Ten-year-old Oliver Crisp has only ever known a life of adventures and globe-trotting. His parents, Mr and Mrs. Crisp are explorers and have explored the highest mountains, have found lost cities and have solved unsolvable mysteries. Having ran out of new places to discover and explore, the Crisps are finally returning to their home in Deepwater Bay and Oliver is extremely excited. He is looking forward to waking up to the same view, having an actual bedroom and bathroom, and starting school.
But Oliver’s dreams of a ‘normal’ life are short-lived as his parents who have gone off to the explore the surrounding islands fail to return and Oliver finds himself on his own exploring adventure. With the help of a grumpy albatross, a short-sighted mermaid and a rambling isle named Cliff, Oliver embarks on a fantastic ocean adventure in the hope of finding and rescuing his parents. But there are plenty of obstacles that stand in Oliver’s way and if he is to be reunited his family he will have to battle Stacey de Lacey, an army of sea monkeys and an angry rambling isle called Thurlstone.
Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntrye have combined to create a brilliantly fun read that is big on imagination and is packed with descriptive details. The story is wacky and quirky and has bags of humour and is the kind of adventure that have will have children racing through the pages. McIntyre’s illustrations, in black and white, that feature throughout are a treat for the eyes and provide readers with so much to spot.
Kidnapping, shipwrecks, a hairstyling contest, an island with low self-esteem, mischievous monkeys, a sea with a sarcastic personality and a journey to the Hallowed Shallows all make for a delightful ocean adventure.
Recommended for 7+.