Oskar and the Ice-pick
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Oskar feels neglected when his mountaineering mother takes off on a Himalayan expedition, and his grandmother abandons her custodial duties in order to participate in a Cross-Atlantic Underwater Swimming race. However, adventure comes his way when his mother sends him a singing gorillagram, calling for the dispatch of a forgotten ice-pick. Oskar and the gorillagram (a forlorn but fiercely independent orphan called Henrietta) set off with the ice-pick and become involved in a demented plot to poison world supplies of ice-cream. This is an exceedingly tall tale which nevertheless succeds in maintaining a realistic treatment of the children's emotions, particularly those arising from experiences of abandonment and vulnerability. The book provides a challenging but entertaining read for children who have acquired independence in reading.