A year and a half ago, an Australian writer, Roslyn Motter, asked if I might be interested in reading a series of children's fantasy books that she'd written. And so the first four volumes of the Doofuzz Dudes arrived at our house, and my son loved them. Here's what I wrote about them back then.
Last month we received the most recent instalment in the series, The Doofuzz Dudes and the Blood Tree (2009, White Hawk Publishing, ages 7-9is, 121 pp). My son was thrilled...
In this adventure, the four dudes, two brothers and their friends, are once more called back to the magical kingdom of Moondor to face another emergency caused by a greedy creature who's determined to hold all of Moondor in his capitalist grasp. This time he wants to chop down the mysterious Moon Tree, a tree that serves as a portal to the past.
And this time, there's a girl joining forces with the Dudes...Will Hillary throw off the balance of the boys' teamwork, or will she (with the help of her ferret) be the one who knows how to solve the problem? And where will the Moon Tree take the Dudes (and Dudette) the journey they must make back in time?
It's lightly written fantasy, with infinitely much more kid appeal than adult appeal. Adults, for instance, might not find Motter's trick of distinguishing her characters from each other through reiterated expressions appealing, and, more generally, there's not a whole of emotional depth.
But for kids who are reading the book for over-the-top adventure, where wild things happen just for the fun of it, might well (like my son) enjoy the story lots. And it is hard for me to think too critically of a book that holds my son's attention from start to finish, keeping him lost in the world of happy reading...
(disclaimer: review copy for me, and signed copy for my son, received from the author)