CLOSED. Kids’ book review: Port Mugaloo + giveaway copies

Elastic Island Port Mugaloo Front Cover

Be in to win a copy of this book – keep reading for details. 

Elastic Island Port Mugaloo Front Cover

From Karen McMillan comes Port Mugaloo, the second in her Elastic Island Adventure series aimed at kids aged 8-12. Her stories about four children going off on holiday on their own and having adventures are reminiscent of the Famous Five but these are more fantastical and told with a quirky sense of humour.

Karen writes them for fun and to enjoy with her husband’s 10-year-old granddaughter Milla who had input into the stories and named some of the characters.

The last time Kiri, Jed, Emma and Ethan went off to a tropical island together it turned into a bit of a disaster. But this time they were off to Port Mugaloo. They had been told it had a beautiful beach, a 5-star luxury resort with shopping and fine dining and friendly local people. And there were no dangerous creepy crawlies.

So they boarded Elastic Island, the new luxury South Pacific service shaped like a round island and covered in palm trees. Mr Jollybowler, a large man dressed in a grass skirt, floral shirt and bowler top hat with a green parrot on his shoulder, welcomed them on board. Magically it crossed the ocean with a ping so they were there in no time at all.

But what a disappointment it turned out to be!  The whole place looked very rundown. The locals would only accept local money so the children could not go shopping.

Then Ethan fell into a pond and became invisible. There were 12 other lost children in there who were in the same predicament and needed help.

Only good King Shiny, the Third ruler of the Mugaloolian people, could reverse their invisibility. But he had left a year ago to find the royal treasure which was needed to restore the local economy and had not been heard of since.

The quokas, a group of small marsupials with a logic all of their own, who lived on the outskirts of the town were willing to help the children to find him.

So off they went on a wild adventure on a very strange camel with 7 bumps that you could tilt back and forth on like a reclining chair. They went through a sandstorm, encountered dangerous Bugaloolian warriors, and met some remarkable creatures like Blong the cat and Salmon the sea dragon.

For parents and grandparents on the lookout for another good book to share with children, I think it ticks a lot of boxes.

  • It’s an exciting adventure story told with a whacky sense of humour. The four do land up in some very perilous situations but they are resourceful and clever and there’s always a glimmer of hope that help will be at hand. And there is a romantic fairytale ending!
  • There is a good balance between the sexes and their different personalities (sporty Jed, nerdy Ethan, feisty Kiri and dreamy Emma) which makes this book appealing to both boys and girls. And all of them get on well and are supportive of each other (even if Kiri sometimes finds Ethan a little annoying).
  • Although there are no illustrations the chapters are short and the vocabulary is not too challenging so it is a good read for primary school children from 8 years up. And younger ones would enjoy having it read to them.
  • And there is a great little social media competition! Children can simply say which character they like best from the first or second book, and why, and the winner will have a character named after them in the third book in this series. Click here to enter.

GrownUps have two prize packs to give away. Each pack contains a copy of Elastic Island Adventures: Jewel Lagoon (the first book in the series) and Elastic Island Adventures: Port Mugaloo.

both books

Complete the form below for your chance to win.

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T&Cs apply. Competition closes 1 October.

Port Mugaloo by Karen McMillan is published by Duckling Publishing RRP 19.99.