________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 21. . . .February 3, 2012


Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Kingdom of Caves. (Book Two).

Richard Thake. Illustrated by Vince Chui.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids, 2011.
158 pp., pbk. & hc., $8.95 (pbk.), $15.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-926818-95-5 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-926818-94-8 (hc.).

Grades 6-8 / Ages 11-13.

Review by Jean Nickel.

** /4





which meant it could only have come from King Philip Fluster the Fourth Himself.

"I bring a message from the king!" said Edith-Anne gleefully. "That's right: I'm the official Royal Runner!"

Now, I know what you're thinking. Why would a king as regal as King Philip Fluster the Fourth want someone as astonishingly sluggish and slow as a sloth to be his official Royal Runner? Well, there are, in fact, a couple of very good reasons for that.

Number one: Edith-Anne can speak thirty-three of the known Thatchwychian languages, including Middle, Lower, and Southernmost Thatch; Bogglegab; Isoceleeze; Hypotheceeze; and several other "eezes" that sound much like sneezes. And number two: although she's not much of a walker, she's actually a super-fast flyer---if she has enough of her magic sloth broth on hand. With a rare pair of messenger skills such as these, you can certainly and suddenly see why anyone, anywhere would want to have Edith-Anne as a runner. Even if she can't really run.

"So, cuzzins?" she asked. "Are you saddled up and ready for your next knightly assignment?"

Just then the biggest bubble of all burst with a giant GUH-LUMPH, knocking Sir Seth into Sir Ollie, who was in turn knocked into Shasta, who was in turn nearly knocked into the water!

"Ready," Sir Seth said, regaining his feet.

"Ready," Sir Ollie also said. "But let's hurry!"

Edith –Anne nodded. "Okay, cuzzins. The message says:

"By royal decree, be it known to one and all that the Mighty Knights of Right & Honor are, herewith, duly and truly directed to stop the water from draining out of Puddlewater Pond.

With many thanks,

King Philip the Fourth of Thatchwych."


Thus begins the next adventure of the Mighty Knights of Right & Honor. Water is draining out of Puddlewater Pond, and Sir Seth and Sir Ollie, along with their trusty faithful steed, a golden retriever, Shasta, must plug the hole in the pond. At the next GUHLUMP in the pond, the two friends find themselves drawn down into the Queendom of Claire. This is the only country to be found completely underground and directly below Puddlewater Pond.

      Once they arrive, they meet Queen Beatriz of Claire and her daughter, Princess Sundra Neeth, and discover that the river in Claire has been blocked by the Snactisaurus Rex, Grak, and his master, an elf named Ooz. Ooz plans to take over the Queendom of Claire, rename it the Kingdom of Ooztralia and let Grak eat all of the trees, if he so desires, as that is what he likes best to eat. The Knights agree to help the Queen stop Ooz, and they set out to the Sadlands and the home of Ooz. This is a barren waste as Grak has eaten all of the trees.

      With the help of new friends along with many mishaps and adventures, they defeat Ooz and restore the Queendom of Claire to Queen Beatrix and banish Ooz and Grak to the Outlands for ever and ever.

      Sir Seth and Sir Ollie make their way to the outlands as well since they cannot go back up the pipe to their home. Instead of finding their way home, they land in the land of AhAhKaachu and another adventure.

      Sir Seth Thistlethwaite and the Kingdom of Caves is a fun story and would work well as a read-aloud or for students who are strong in the field of Language Arts. This is a book where slang spelling is used throughout the story and fragmented sentences appear quite often. Phonetic spelling is also used for names of characters in the book, such as Pho Phum and Fibb. Characters use the slang dialect, and it is used appropriately when the character is talking.

      Black and white illustrations are quite humourous and work well with the story, keeping readers' attention focused on the story being told.

      Author Richard Thake, father of three grown children and grandchildren to three grandchildren, started his writing career at Maclean-Hunter and later moved into advertising.

      The illustrator, Vince Chui, has worked on projects for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PS2 games. He has also worked in the entertainment field as well for companies such as Paramount Pictures and Sega.


Jean Nickel is a library technician at the Westglen School in Didsbury, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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