A satisfying and enjoyable story based on an imaginative premise. I am sure ‘Aerodynamics of Biscuits’ will be flying off the shelves.
Oliver knows he shouldn’t be skulking, sneaking and creeping around in the middle of the night. But even good little boys sometimes do things they shouldn’t when they’re hungry. And it’s just as well he does. Without Oliver, the pirate mice wouldn’t be able to use the biscuits they’ve stolen to build an aerodynamic rocket to take them to the moon. And without Oliver they would still be stranded on the cheesy moon unable to get home.
I was immediately intrigued by the title of this debut picture book from Clare Helen Walsh and feared the story wouldn’t live up to such an inspired idea. Fortunately the story is equally good. It’s a completely fantastical premise but I was certainly happy to buy into the idea of a rocket ship made of biscuits and smiled at the issues they faced: flapjacks that are too heavy; wafers that are too light; shortbread that is too crumbly; and terribly uncomfortable nuts!
I’m sure children in the target audience will thoroughly enjoy this and will willing accept a rocket made of biscuits, and a moon and a pirate ship made of cheese.
The words used to tell the story are well chosen and, although some potentially difficult words have been included (e.g. legendary, skulking, loitered), these are well placed in the context so children will easily follow the narrative and understand what is happening. There is also lots to entertain the adults that will go over the children’s heads – for example the names of the rocket (Jolly Dodger) and the cheese pirate ship (the Brie O’Booty) and the fun pirate dialogue (‘Let’s get us some Cheddaarrrr!)
The book starts and ends with Oliver skulking, sneaking and creeping and this makes the story feel complete and, therefore, provides a satisfying end. The illustrations are colourful and the child-like style is likely to appeal to children. However, the pages are sometimes overly busy, making it challenging at times to follow the flow of the story. This is particularly problematic on the page where they are building the pirate ship: for me the labels of the different type of cheeses interfered with the text.
Overall this is a satisfying and enjoyable story based on a fantastic and imaginative premise. I am sure ‘Aerodynamics of Biscuits’ will be flying off the shelves.
For a different story with similarly fantastical premise try Grrrrr! by Rob Biddulph.
Publication Date: September 2015
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
Author: Clare Helen Walsh
Review first published on The Bookbag