Tag Archives: Secret Agents

League of Llamas – Aleesah Darlison

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94234nz Visit Aleesah’s webpage here

 

Penguin

March 2020

RRP: $9.99

 

Well… Aleesah’s new series is bound to be a hit with junior/middle primary readers with galloping (I’m not sure llamas actually gallop but still…) plots, high octane humour and loads of adventure. I knew that James Bond is currently having a contemporised make over but I’m thinking that Phillipe Llamar is going to give the super suave secret agent a real run for his money once the word gets out!  After all, he’s got the good looks and the extravagant fringe (thanks to extensions) – in fact he oozes style. Of course it’s a bit of a shame he also often exudes incompetence but still, one can’t have everything.

These new stories make great use of innumerable llama puns (driving Llamaborghinis) and other word play such as the names of countries (Chickenlovakia and Crowatia) which kiddos will find highly amusing and no doubt will emulate with gusto.

 

#1 The Golden Llama

9781760894160

ISBN: 9781760894160

Imprint: Puffin

In which we are introduced to Phillipe, his sidekick Lloyd, Mama Llama the big boss of the League of Llamas agency, a beautiful but suspicious lady llama and some very dastardly badgers led by General Bottomburp (I know, right!?).

Phillipe’s mission is to retrieve stolen files regarding SPIT (Space Precision Initial Test), a highly sensitive initiative of the Llama Republic Space Agency, Bottomburp’s office deep within the badger’s mansion. His plan to do this whilst everyone is deep in food and dance at a huge ball is a good one but things do go awry. However Phillipe salvages the operation, if not his dignity, but there is more in store as the badger cohort retaliate with a llama-napping and the theft of the Llama Republic’s most significant monument, the Golden Llama.

#2 Llama Impossible

9781760894184

ISBN: 9781760894184

It wasn’t until I read this second instalment that I found a reference to James Bond..

If James Bond was a llama, he’d be Phillip, albeit slightly more clumsy and conceited…….hah! that cracked me up after my earlier mention!

A speeding train with failed brakes driven by a rotund llama chockfull of choc-cookies and a nasty gecko who appears to be a baddie, a martial arts academy full of badgers who like to beat up llamas, arson, a robbery at Tiffanllamas & Co Jewellery Store and more – it’s all in a day’s work for Phillipe and his trusty comrades, all the while protecting his famous fringe. Are all these incidents the work of Bottomburp, who is reputedly holidaying in Papua New Guinea Pig, or are the llama agents being misled?

It seems that when the intrepid pairing of Phillipe and Lloyd become a trio with the lovely Elloise that things work out with great satisfaction – perhaps a little wonkily along the way but still all’s wellama that ends wellama.

 

Trust me, your kiddos are going to lap these up like llamas eating gardenias – or badgers eating worms. I would recommend for readers from around 7 years upwards.

 

 

 

 

Kensy and Max #2: Disappearing Act – Jacqueline Harvey

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kensy

Penguin Random House

9780143780632

September 3, 2018

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP: $16.99

 

Twins Kensy and Max are back in another absolutely cracking adventure, which will delight the readers of this new series. The pair has had some time to adjust themselves to their new life as part of the important Pharos organisation, headed up by their impressive grandmother and is now agents-in-training along with some of their school friends.

Although their parents are still missing they at least now know they are still alive, so the Christmas celebrations at Alexandria, their grandmother’s home and Pharos training centre, are quite something. Their training program has been exciting and both have added many new skills to their already natural talents.

With their manny Fitz also absent and the unexpected arrival of Uncle Rupert, a somewhat dubious character, the twins have much to occupy themselves but their school trip to Italy promises to be a welcome distraction.

But of course, this turns out to be no normal school trip with a missing boy, a den of thieves and Mafioso-like goons threatening all-round chaos. It would seem that the twins will be on their first mission much earlier than could be expected.

Jacqueline Harvey has a real talent for creating very believable characters and scenarios which immediately engage her readership and leaves them begging for more.

While her two hugely popular series are eaten up ferociously by girls for the main part, this new series has equal appeal for both genders and will be, I predict, creating another huge following from the pre-teen crowd.

With neat touches like the coded chapter headings, this will have the problem-solvers competing for first place in deciphering!

 

Highly recommended for your readers from around Year 3 upwards who enjoy everyday stories with a hefty twist of wild adventure, sleuthing and drama.