Jack was extremely unhappy at being forced to move house and school when his father got a new job in the small town of Curtly Ambrose and then he discovered that he had the neighbour from hell. Her name is Coco McBean and she enjoys nothing more than playing jokes and getting in the way. Jack’s luck changes when he discovers an empty notebook with his name inside it and hidden within a feather, a quill pen. Jack rapidly discovers that this is a magic feather and it will make anything he draws come alive; the problem is that Jack is not good at drawing. Life suddenly becomes rather complicated, particularly when the villainous Mayor Gristle tries to steal the feather and it is up to Jack, Coco and a Sea Lion called Sardina to stop him.
This is a totally whacky and very funny story that is bound to be popular with a wide range of children. I am sure that the trauma of moving house is something that resonates with many young readers. They have to give up their friends; school, clubs and all those little elements that make them feel safe. Moving to a new town means going to a new school, getting used to a new house and trying to make friends all over again. The characters are created with a broad brush stroke and we are in no doubt about the villain and his intentions, thankfully the British local government system prevents the type of power crazed individual that we see here. The illustrations have been well thought out with a great deal of energy and humour coming through. I liked the way that they range from small quarter page images, up to large double page spreads. This creates a feeling of spontaneity and works perfectly with the text. This is an excellent read for the newly confident reader and those who just enjoy a truly ridiculous and funny story.