Debut author Caroline Juskus has come up with an accessible and fun book. In terms of style, text, content, illustration and layout, it is strongly influenced by the Clarice Bean books of Lauren Child. In fact, Minnie Piper and Clarice Bean look as though they share at least one parent!
10-year-old Minnie Piper, constantly pestered by her younger cousin Dot, is attempting to crack a code, set as a homework exercise, by her teacher Mr Impey. In particular, she wants to beat her arch rival and the ‘brainiac’ Jenny to the prize. Readers will enjoy trying to crack the code alongside Minnie, in what I would describe as a thoroughly entertaining read. Minnie would probably describe her own book as ‘totally fabaroony’! Modern and feisty, Minnie is a strong character. In fact all the characters are well created and likeable in their own way. This book will appeal to the upper end of this age bracket or the lower end of the next one.