David Almond's The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas is an engrossing chapter book with a sprinkling of humour, a daring adventure and a little boy who must find his inner courage.
Throw in a splattering of imaginative illustrations from Oliver Jeffers, and this is one very attractive chapter book.
Stanley Potts lives with his Uncle Ernie and Auntie Annie. This was all going well until Ernie developed his obsession, then the factory, and then the never ending devotion to ...
.. putting fish into tin cans. Yep!
Stanley is pretty easy going but when, despite Annie's best efforts, Ernie can't spare a few minutes to celebrate his nephew's birthday it all gets a little too much.
In his own quiet, contemplative manner Stanley gets swept up by the travelling circus.
It seems all that time with Ernie and Annie did have a special meaning, for it seems Stanley has quite an unusual connection to, urm, fish.
It's his destiny.
Almond's clever control of the narrative is engrossing for younger readers. As he slips in and out of talking directly to the reader Almond engages them brilliantly.
Almond involves his young audience as the novel unfolds, gifting it with a magical feel.
Fun, magical and enchanting, The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas will appeal to readers of Roald Dahl.