A pirate is sitting in Eddy’s gran’s bath. A startling event, but a very welcome one. Eddy has been having the most rubbish holiday in the history of holidays, and excitement is well overdue. Mad Bad Jake McHake has arrived, and he’s looking to recruit a gang of ‘salt-seasoned old sea-dogs’, for adventure on the high seas. Shortlisted for the Laugh-Out-Loud Awards 2017 (the ‘Lollies’), Eddy Stone’s riotous adventure is surely a major contender.
The somewhat excitable Captain McHake recruits Eddy with the promise of a treasure hunt and just maybe, some cannon firing, and massive explosions. His unconventional crew is completed by a stowaway penguin, and an elderly lady, who has never wielded a cutlass, but is a dab hand with a potato peeler.
Once unfurled, the treasure map appears badly tattered, and smells like old cabbage. However, they soon realise that, thrillingly, it is, in fact, a magical interactive map. ‘Well, I’ll be jiggered!’ exclaims the Captain. The adventure is on.
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up lives up to the Laugh-Out-Loud promise. There’s a marvellous scene where they are confronted by the legendary Barracuda Bill’s ship, his decks are lined with beardy, brutal pirates. But, oh the shame! Bill can’t be bothered to attack them today. Instead, one hundred pirates turn their backs on Eddy and co, drop their trousers and bend over. One hundred and ninety nine buttocks shine in the sunlight. The odd buttock belongs to a pirate who lost the other one in a swordfight years ago.
The accompanying illustration is hilarious, and I defy any reader not to inspect the rows of piratical bottoms, in search of the single hairy buttock. The story hurtles along, and events take an appalling turn for the worse. Tellingly, Chapter 21 is headed ‘Things Go Really Badly’.
An easy and chucklesome read, even for landlubbers who don’t know their mizzen from their jib-cleat.
Eddy Stone and the Epic Holiday Mash-Up is published by Usborne Publishing, 304 pages.