The S.S. Euphonia might have a little less paint and a lot more scuff marks, but it still runs. Eight-year-old Corby Flood wishes the ship would stop, though - at least at some of the places mentioned in her official Hoffendinck Guide. But Captain Boris Belvedere won’t stop the boat in Fedrun so the few passengers on board can see the dancing pig or sample the famous pancakes.
Seeing the twenty bridges in Mesapoli might have made Corby’s dad forget about his Great Disappointment, and if the ship stopped at Lonesome Skerry, the Flood family could have seen the Wreck of the
Bonnie Rose and Captain Lemuel Gibbons’ Treehouse. For now, the Hoffendinck Guide is
only giving Corby a sneak peek at what she’s missing while traveling the seas, but it also comes in handy when she’s taking notes. Corby keeps the blank page of the Hoffendinck Guide filled with details about the passengers on board. She has two columns for lovesick Lieutenant Jon-Jolyon Letchworth-Crisp:
his good points include his neat uniform and his nice manners;
his bad points concern the amount of grease in his hair and his ginger-colored fingernails. Corby knows he’s not good enough for her older sister, Serena.
On the S.S. Euphonia, Corby becomes known as the Sneaker, the Eavesdropper and the Snooper to the Brotherhood of Clowns,
and you don’t want to be on their bad side. They’ll tamper with your self-tidying room and corner you with their mechanical deck chairs
- and watch out for the marshmallows they leave lying around! These five evil men
harbor a secret, and Corby knows it from the moment they bring their luggage on board. While following the sounds coming from the sad-singing passenger she is sure the clowns are hiding on board, Corby has a close encounter with the clowns but manages to dodge the villains by jumping into a wooden crate. When she comes to her senses much later, she finds herself on land in a one hundred-year-old grocery store surrounded by thousands of rusty cans. She’s in her bumblebee costume, her parents are far away aboard the S.S. Euphonia, and a little old lady is about to chase her with a broom.
There is a happy family reunion, but not before a crime-stopping food fight puts an end to the getaway plans of the five clownish thieves. After the S.S. Euphonia docks, there are many reasons to celebrate. Old friends reunite, relationships are repaired, rewards are offered and the town of Doralakia celebrates The Longest Afternoon and its newest singing attraction.
Corby Flood is the second book in the Far-Flung Adventures series. Black-and-white drawings can be found on almost every page of this book, including the seven-page epilogue and the map on the back of the book jacket. The drawings illustrate the contents of the Hoffendinck Guide, Corby’s hand-written notes, and all the characters from the book. Some illustrations are whole page, and some are scattered in different sizes and locations on the page. Chris Riddell puts something eye-catching and interesting on every page of this book. Even his drawings of hats, moustaches and noses add a lot of personality to the characters’ illustrations. My favorite illustrations are
those showing Corby’s self-tidying room and the ship’s self-propelling nautical chairs. I am a fan of the food tins, too;
it looks like to get into the Archduke Ferdinand’s Sardines on Buttered Toast with Extra Toast container, you must use the two keys lying on top of the tin.
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell have also created the bestselling
"Edge Chronicles" series. Before working as a full-time writer, Paul Stewart taught English as a second language. He lives in Brighton with his wife and children. Chris Riddell’s illustrations can be found in over one hundred children’s books, and his cartoons can be read in the Sunday edition of the
Observer newspaper. Riddell is also the author of Ottoline and the Yellow Cat and
Ottoline Goes to School and lives in Brighton.
This book has comedy, suspense and armchair travel all in one - well, far-flung armchair travel!