Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Toad Heaven by Morris Gleitzman

There are now four copies of this in our little library so you could read it with a few friends. This is the sequel to Toad Rage and it is all about a cane toad who longs to find a place where his family can live safely from the humans who seem to delight in squashing them. After an encounter with a conservationist, Limpy, the main character, mistakenly believes that he has been injected with a virus that will decimate his species. After hearing about a national park where living things are protected, he sets out, hoping to find this refuge for his family before he dies. Limpy is the brain box and a reluctant leader who manages to guide the others through battles with stinging ants, crocodiles, and a boatload of tourists. The over-the-top dialogue includes lots of body humour and tummy-turning descriptions of toad diet and personal habits. Death is a frequent source of amusement, from the toads' eerie use of a flattened relative as an insect trap to the companions' unsettling experiences among stuffed souvenir cane toads in a gift shop. This book has so many things in common with the film called Canetoad: the Conquest which I saw at the cinema earlier this year. It was funny in a very droll sort of a way:

Also click here to hear the first chapter of the novel:

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