Review: Toad Attack!

Toadattack150Leo’s Wednesday gets off to an unusual start when a red-eyed toad lands on his head as he leaves his house – and that’s just the opening of this amusing and action-packed adventure from Patrice Lawrence.

Leo and his friend Rosa enlist the help of her Dad Raj, a TV wildlife presenter, and a pet toad named Twerky, to try to solve the puzzle of where the flying amphibian army comes from.

Together. they must get the toads safely out of Upper Dab, before they destroy the vegetation of an entire town, along with any hope their school has of success in the Dab’s Best Blooms competition.

Toad Attack! is a chuckle-filled story packed with sparky characters and delightful toady moments, such as when a pair of them go paddling in the school’s beef stew. Becka Moor’s illustrations are a great match, and we particularly love her child characters’ expressions.

There is an environmental message too, and the fact that Rosa wears a hearing aid, and can both lip read and use (and teach Leo) British Sign language, gives the children a perfect way to make secret plans.

This was our first experience with one of the ‘super-readable’ books from Edinburgh publisher Barrington Stoke and was a really positive one.

Their techniques include using tinted pages (to reduce visual stress) and a dyslexia-friendly font and spacings, as well as language pitched to ensure that reading is a confidence-building and enjoyable experience.

At the root of it, is a great story that compels any reader to find out what happened next – and this one definitely did that for us.

 Toad Attack, by Patrice Lawrence, ill Becka Moor (Barrington Stoke)

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