Elastic Island Adventures
Available in paperback
Elastic Island Adventures: Port Mugaloo is the second in an exciting series of books for children, a fantasy action-adventure set in the South Pacific!
Four children, Kiri, Jed, and twins Emma and Ethan, discover an ‘elastic’ island that can send them pinging across the ocean to a variety of tropical island destinations. Their last destination spelt trouble, so this time the children are determined to have a relaxed and safe time when they visit Port Mugaloo on MugaMuga Island. But Ethan falls into a pond and becomes invisible – and the only one who can help them is King Shiny. But King Shiny has gone missing looking for the long-lost royal treasure, so they enlist the help of Mrs Quokka and travel across the desert on a seven-humped camel into very dangerous territory to find him. But have the children made a mistake in trusting Mrs Quokka? They soon learn that quokkas might be famous for their ‘quokka logic’ but mostly it doesn’t make any sense!
Suitable for children 7 - 12 years
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'From Karen McMillan comes Port Mugaloo, the second in her Elastic Island Adventure series aimed at kids aged 8-12. Her stories about four children going off on holiday on their own and having adventures are reminiscent of the Famous Five but these are more fantastical and told with a quirky sense of humour.' Grownups.co.nz
'This second book, aimed at readers between eight and 12-years-old, is as fast-paced as its predecessor Jewel Lagoon. McMillan has paid great attention to continuity so both stories flow together seamlessly.
She once again perfectly pitches the story at her audience. It is a great book for those who are newly independent readers. McMillan draws on the familiar to make sure those readers feel competent and confident.
It’s also a nice book to read aloud. Parents won’t be bored, with the book ripping along at a break neck speed. Shorter chapters keep the story manageable for a spot of bedtime reading together. With deeper themes about friendship, working together, positivity and perseverance, it could also spark some nice conversations with your younger readers.' NZ Booklovers
'Miss Eight was all but bouncing off the walls with excitement when she learned that I had the second Elastic Island Adventures book for her to review with me. She had loved the first book; since we read it together, she has read it a second time on her own.
Having the same familiar characters was helpful because Miss Eight already knew their various quirks so could ease into the story straight away. She was sad that Rinaldo the parrot had been given the sack by Mr Jollybowler, but quickly warmed to his replacement, George, who was so proper he made her laugh. By the time the children arrived on MugaMuga Island, she was completely immersed in the story and ready for plenty of action and fun. She was especially intrigued by the inclusion of Unputdownable Book of Mugaloo, which had chosen Emma to be its guardian. Miss Eight rather fancied herself as its guardian instead of Emma!
Quokka logic plays an important part in the story - the name derives from Mrs Quokka's penchant for sharing pithy sayings, some of which are funny while others are completely meaningless. However, the inhabitants of MugaMuga Island hold them in the highest regard. Her other talent is for making lemon cake which appears to be everyone's favourite food. Not only does the lemon cake recur throughout the book, there is even a recipe at the end - and, of course, Miss Eight had to try it as soon as we had reached the last page.
Mrs Quokka is their guide on the quest to find King Shiny, who has gone missing. Miss Eight was entertained by the antics of her two offspring. Because Mrs Quokka is a marsupial, they live in her pouch and pop up every now and then. The baby Joey, who occasionally emerges with his orange rattle, is cute - but the addition of his older brother, Jase, who is the epitome of a sulky teenager and leaps out of the pouch wearing his headphones and does his best to avoid any chores, is a stroke of genius. I found I was laughing along with Miss Eight every time he grumbled about being told to do something.
The other thing that made Miss Eight laugh was the idea of a Blong-A-Gram.
That the story has a happy-every-after ending is a given. As Miss Eight said, every child should have a copy of this book because you get to read the story and enjoy it, but then you get to make the cake as well. Now she cannot wait to read the third book in the series.' KIWIreviews.nz
‘This is a very funny book and the characters are well drawn – children will enjoy this book and others in the series. We look forward eagerly to next year’s new adventures.’ Radio Southland
Feedback from children:
‘I really enjoyed Port Mugaloo. I loved the children’s adventures, and didn’t want to stop reading! My favourite characters were Blong the Cat, (his Blong-a-grams were very funny), and Mrs Quokka. I will get Mum to make the Quokka Lemon Cake.’
Cole Roberts (9 years old)
'My favourite character is Blong the Cat because he is cute and his is your cat in real life. I like how you added him in the story.' Poppy
'Emma is my favourite because she has amazing survival skills and I also think she is very smart and co-operative.' Kayleigh
'We love the characters Ethan and Jed best because they go on such great adventures. They are daring characters and Ethan can become invisible which is something we would love to be able to do, except not by falling down a cliff and landing in a pond.' Olliver and Austin
'I like Mrs Quokka because she is very funny with her quirky quotes. I also like her small cute handbag. I also, like how she’s sassy and feisty and it is so cute for a little quokka to be like that!' Rinka
'I like Blong the Cat because he is cute like our cat Ziggy, but Ziggy only has 3 legs and Blong has 4 legs and beautiful big green eyes.' Coco
'Emma adopted Blong the Cat and her book was all about the island, so my favourite character is Emma.' Teagan
‘My favourite character from Port Mugaloo was Mrs Quokka. I loved her quirky quotes and her tenacious bravery. Her sons Joey and Jase create a sense of fun and we are amazed at the contents of her pocket. She believes in the goodness in the hearts of scary characters like Chief Montegrow and Salmon the Dragon. Great story!’ Corrine
‘I love Emma the best. She likes school like me, and she has a lovely character and is a positive girl.’ Yuju