'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 20 October 2011

Review: The Undys Series

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Phil and Josh Undy for Kids' Book Capers - and what a joy it was to meet such a crazypants, refreshing, down-to-earth pair. This is indeed a father/son team you'd love to run into and spend a spontaneous afternoon cavorting with - so totally is this pair invested in the spirit of life and fun.

Having lost his mum to cancer when he was just four, young Josh Undy could not have lucked out more with his dedicated dad Phil, who promised that when she was gone, he would be the best mum a dad can be.

Phil may be a bumbling fool at times, but what more could a young lad need? Someone to laugh with, someone to play with, someone to compete with - because competition is the backbone of the Undy relationship, yes and deedydoo.

It's all about the game with this pair - from Gut Barging and Toe-Wrestling to Run ‘Til You Stop, each is intent on outdoing the other, with a series of taunts and travails that really tickle the funny bone.

As interactive as it is entertaining, The Undys series is interspersed with a series of 'rewards' for getting through each chapter - or, as author Wagner most cleverly has labelled them - 'game'.

Each 'game' is moderately lengthy, encouraging readers to commit to larger blocks of text - but the text is also interspersed with a series of engaging line drawings and plenty of humour and action. The 'rewards' at the end of each game include quizzes, code crackers, crosswords, Undys insights and more.

Along with love interest Amy, a barrage of friends and Gus Gordon's iconic and fabulous illustrations, this series is absolutely ideal for boys reading at an intermediate level - who may struggle to find an engaging, funny and visually-segregated balance of text, fabulous storylines and excellent writing.

Oh - and a dynamic duo of characters that really sit neatly in the heart ... and on the funny bone.

Learn more about The Undys on Michael Wagner's website. www.michaelwagner.com.au

Title: The Undys Series
Author: Michael Wagner 
Illustrator: Gus Gordon 
Publisher: Puffin, $16.95
Publication Date: 2007 - 2009
Format: Paperback
For ages: 7 - 12
Type: Junior Fiction