Author: Crystal Marcos
Year published: 2012
Publisher: Cat Marcs Publishing
Number of pages: 134
Recommended age: 7+
Daughter Rating: ★★★★★
Daughter Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewed by: Renee and Danielle (Mother and Daughter)
Summary (from Author’s Website): When Peter Fisher sets out for school one morning, he has no idea that trouble is stirring in his hometown. With the unexpected arrival of his new Candonite friends from Maple Town, Peter and Lina have extra help saving their beloved town and loved ones from the clutches of the one villain they had hoped they would never see again. Humorous and thought provoking, this unforgettably entertaining story teaches a valuable lesson about standing up and facing one’s fears.
What it’s about: In this book, Angela and Joe – two Candonite children, accidentally end up following Peter and Lina home from Maple Town. But what they don’t know is that Goaltan and the Peblars also come back. Goaltan and the Peblars want to try and destroy Peter’s town.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked the whole, whole, whole book. It was awesome, cool, and funny. My favorite parts were when Angela and Joe were looking for Peter and they disguised themselves so nobody would notice that they were made out of candy. I liked that we find out that Peter’s neighbor, Mr. Rupert, had a secret cellar in his house. It was a cool hiding spot.
Nana didn’t say that she went to Maple Town in the first book, but in the second book she says she went to Honeyville, so she had been to that world, just a different town. That didn’t surprise me because I kind of had a feeling that she had been there before.
I liked the new Papa’s Sweet Shop. I liked the orange twisty slide, the ice room, and the really, really warm room, and the secret room upstairs. I wish I could go there or to Hawaii, cause I like it there too.
I didn’t like that I didn’t know what the Candonites look like. I can’t imagine at all what they look like. All I can imagine really is just the colors that they can be, but only as people.
My bottom line: I loved, loved, loved this book. I would recommend it to boys and girls 7 years old and up because there are both boys and girls in it. It might be a bit too long for kids that are younger.
What it’s about: HEADCHE is the sequel to BELLYACHE – a fun and imaginative book we reviewed earlier this year. Click here for our review of BELLYACHE. The basic premise of HEADCHE is that, upon Peter and Lina’s return from Maple Town, they discover that they were inadvertently followed by Joe and Angela (two Candonite children) as well as the villain from BELLYACHE, Goaltan. Goaltan and his small army of Peblars descend upon Peter and Lina’s hometown wreaking havoc and destroying the local sweets shops in their search for the human children who escaped from their clutches in the first book. Peter and Lina enlist the help of their families, the Candonite children, and the mysterious neighbor, Mr. Rupert, in putting an end to Goaltan’s destruction and sending the Candonites and Peblars back to their homeland.
What I liked and disliked about it: We were all really big fans of the first book, BELLYACHE. I think this one is even better. The story had the same level of intrigue as the first book and Marcos develops the right level of tension throughout. The stories have a significant amount of overlap, but the book can stand on its own (i.e., you don’t need to read the first book in order to fully understand and enjoy the second book).
What I really enjoyed about HEADACHE is the larger, more well-rounded cast of characters in the story. For example, in the first book, BELLYACHE, the central character was clearly Peter while Lina was a more minor character along with the various Candonites, Peter’s family, and the Peblars. In HEADACHE, there is more of a balance between Peter and Lina as the two main characters. I think this is an important change as my daughter had complained that in BELLYACHE, Lina didn’t have enough of a role. Further, other characters, such as Peter’s Grandpa and Grandma, Peter and Lina’s parents, and Goaltan, are given more significant roles in HEADACHE.
The story itself is brilliantly written with so many twists and turns in the plot that you can’t possibly guess what will happen next in the story. I find much of what I read to be largely predictable, but Marcos kept all three of us on the edge of our seats wondering what would happen next to Peter, Lina, and the other characters. There were many groans of disappointment when I had to stop reading for the night and many pleas for “One more chapter, pleeeeeeease?!” This book was a breeze to read aloud to my kids and even my 5 year-old was fully engaged in the story.
As with the first book, Marcos does a fantastic job of creating an original, imaginative story with unusual and colourful characters and settings. I agree with my daughter above…can someone please create Papa’s Sweet Shop so that we can go there with its colour candy wrapper floors, sundae fountain, and twisty and ice slides? I will, however, pass on the veggie-based Candonite Delights!
I can’t really say there was anything about the book that I didn’t like. I do want to mention a teeny tiny oversight (or perhaps it is a misunderstanding on my part). On page 93, we read about Goaltan entering Peter’s house:
Goaltan watched for a moment, no doubt pleased with his work, before crushing the doorknob in his bare hand.
On p. 106, Goaltan is about to re-enter Peter’s house:
Goaltan’s hand was on the doorknob and he began turning it.
Like I said, so teeny, tiny that only someone anal-retentive as myself would even notice. Perhaps I’ve missed my calling as an editor?
My bottom line: I LOVED this book. It is exceptionally well-written, completely original, and totally entertaining. I highly recommend it (as well as BELLYACHE) to boys and girls ages 7 and up.
** HEADACHE by Crystal Marcos was provided to us free-of-charge by the author. We did, however, purchase BELLYACHE as an e-book. **
Book Giveaway and Author Interview
Don’t miss your chance to win signed, print copies of both BELLYACHE and HEADACHE. Click here to enter our Book Giveaway. Also, please read our interview with Crystal Marcos, author of BELLYACHE and HEADACHE.
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