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

Monday 14 October 2013

Review: Figaro and Rumba and the Cool Cats (Figaro and Rumba #2)

Best friends Figaro and Rumba return with another humorous and music-filled adventure thanks to wonderful Australian author/illustrator partnership Anna Fienberg and Stephen Michael King.

After escaping from the crocodile that kidnapped them, the Cool Cats from Cuba are now the proud owners of the Cool Cats Café. Their customers travel from far and wide to dine on their chicken empanadas and to come under the spell of their singing and steel guitars.

While Figaro and Rumba both love the music, Figaro is finding that he is getting just a little bit bored with the endless rehearsals, especially when demanding lead singer Marta seems to be constantly pointing out his mistakes. Maybe he just needs some time outside in the fresh air. Little ginger cat Dora wants to explore and she just happens to have the keys to Marta’s cherished classic Catmobile. It seems like the perfect solution for them to head off on an adventure together. What could go wrong?

Figaro and Rumba and the Cool Cats is junior fiction with full-colour illustrations designed to entice young readers to enjoy their first chapter book reading experience. The story is light-hearted and fun, with Figaro once again stumbling into an adventure and Rumba offering the calm voice of reason.

I love the musical element of the story, especially the way the characters respond to music and how it makes them feel. I think it’s great that the music is portrayed as something that connects people and allows them to express themselves. I’m also rather taken with the new character, Rolando the sloth. What’s not to love about sloths?

If you are looking for a fun way to introduce young children to longer stories without imposing blocks of text, the Figaro and Rumba series is a great option. The books are currently published in hardcover format, but the first book, Figaro and Rumba and the Crocodile Café (KBR review here) is scheduled to be released in paperback early next year.

Title: Figaro and Rumba and the Cool Cats (Figaro and Rumba #2)
Author: Anna Fienberg
Illustrator: Stephen Michael King
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 25 September 2013
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781743313497
For ages: 5 - 8
Type: Junior Fiction