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Elastic Island Adventures

Rainbow Cove

Duckling Publishing

Available in paperback

Elastic Island - Rainbow Cover.jpg

Rainbow Cove is the third in a fantasy action-adventure set in the South Pacific.


Kiri, Jed, and twins Emma and Ethan, discover an ‘elastic’ island that sends them pinging across the ocean to a variety of destinations. When they visit Rainbow Cove, they discover creatures called frivals who are responsible for maintaining the colours of the island. But the frivals have gone on strike after the local people didn’t like them changing all the colours around – and now the island is slowly fading to grey. Because of this the chameleons are in danger of dying,  so the children set out to find the frivals missing leader in the hope of saving them. But will they succeed before it is too late?

Suitable for children 7 - 12 years


'Four children ride the Elastic Island service to Rainbow Cove, where they meet the naughty frivals, who have gone on strike from painting the island, so everything is fading to grey. Now the chameleons could die. Can the children save them? The third in the imaginative Elastic Island series.' Australian Women's Weekly

'Aimed at children between eight and 12, the third in the Elastic Island Adventures series is an action-packed story bursting with creativity. ' North & South Magazine

'It might seem weird to find a parenting hero in a chameleon, but the lizard family were my real favourites in this story. Charlotte the mother chameleon is feisty, determined and isn’t afraid to exert her motherly power. She is full of wisdom and offers up plenty of great pearls of wisdom for readers. Her view that “life is dangerous...but we still have to live it” was a particular favourite that was particularly apt in this story.

Once again, the latest in the Elastic Island Adventures impresses. Aimed at children between eight and 12, it is a fast-paced, action packed story bursting with imagination and creativity. This age range is often overlooked by writers, but Rainbow Cove fills the gap perfectly.' NZ Booklovers

'Rainbow Cove is the third destination in this wildly imaginative fantasy adventure series.

    Kiri, Jed, and twins Emma, and Ethan, are now seasoned Elastic Island travellers. Children are likely to identify themselves with one or more of the main characters’ diverse personalities or with their hobbies as their interests vary from sports, books, music and technology.

    Once they arrive on the island it doesn’t take our four adventurers long to figure out there’s something amiss at Rainbow Cove. Together with new friends they meet along their journey they investigate the latest mystery. 

    The vibrant illustrations on the cover are a drawcard for catching a young reader’s attention. Robustly constructed, this is a book that will cope with multiple handlings. The interior design is well laid out with a large font and a clean style that will appeal to independent readers.

    Rainbow Cove is my favourite so far in this series as the storyline is more playful than in the first book. I particularly enjoyed experiencing Rainbow Cove filtered through the fun perspective of Blong the Cat – a most delightful character.

    Although part of a series this can be read as standalone adventure and the seeds for Book Four have been firmly planted within Rainbow Cove.'

'This is the third in a children’s fantasy adventure series by popular New Zealand author Karen McMillan. I thought this highly inventive story which Karen has again told with her quirky sense of humour would be a jolly good read for children 8 years and up.


I shared it with my ten-year-old neighbour Nina and asked for her opinion. She said she really enjoyed it as she loves adventure stories, especially those in which there is a little romance but as she put it ‘romance for children of course’.


Her favourite character was Jed, because he was kind, patient and brave and so cool! She loved reading how he made Kiri blush when she was in the cave with him, and wondered how their relationship might develop in the next book in the series. And she loved the fact that the book had a happy ending.'

'Miss Eight and I are hooked on the books in this series. Not only did she insist on dropping everything to read this one (the third in the series), she also wore her new Elastic Island t-shirt while we were enjoying the story. We read it over four days (in instalments); nobody was allowed to wash the t-shirt until we had reached the very last page! Having the same main characters in a book is a drawcard for children as they start to become almost like old friends, with individual quirks that are instantly recognisable.

As with the previous Elastic Island stories, this one features an innovative plot line. What both of us find really draws us in is the imaginative situations and the novel ways in which the children deal with challenges. Many children's stories are rehashing of older tales and as such can be predictable (and therefore guaranteed to make an avid reader quickly lose interest). McMillan has the knack of being able to present fresh perspectives on basically familiar concepts so that reader interest is sustained. At the same time, fantasy and reality combine seamlessly so that the old ideas of sibling rivalry and real places (like Browns Bay) make the reader feel grounded. As a child with an older brother, and also someone who has visited Browns Bay regularly, Miss Eight really felt that she was part of the greater story.

There were little learning opportunities scattered throughout as well. Miss Eight quickly decoded the island name (Roy-G-Biv) as being an acronym for the seven colours of the rainbow. She loves doing all kinds of art so was very excited at the idea of the frivals having an entire shed full of paint supplies - her idea of heaven! She wondered if the island might really exist somewhere in the Pacific - and if so, maybe we could take a trip there at some stage. The idea of meeting the Belly Monster and Florence was also most attractive now that Belly was friendly, and maybe they would even like to do some painting with Miss Eight.

Finally, we loved the inclusion of the Elastic Island Specification Sheet. Miss Eight's older brother thought this was amazing - he is well and truly into physics and had great fun deconstructing the specs. He especially liked the idea that the colour scheme was included - he said it reminded him of the instructions for a model fort he once made, and which included model trees and sandpaper "courtyards". Although he was not interested in reading the book himself, we did notice him hovering in the background within earshot whenever we were reading. This may have been coincidence, but then again...'


Other book recommendations:

Feedback from children:

'My favourite character is blong the cat and the twins, blong the cat is very funny, whitty, very sweet. The twins- emma and ethan- awesome, funny, caring, relatable , cheeky. thank you so much for the books.’ Bryce.

'My favourite character from Rainbow Cove is Blong. He is really cute and funny. I like it when he does his dancing and coughs up his Blong -A -Grams.' Milla

'My favorite character from this book is kirri because she is so dramatic and silly.' Heather

'Kiri is my personal favourite character not only because she’s just like me but she fights for what she thinks is right.' Isla

‘My favourite character is probably Emma, because she reminds me of myself. She’s emotive, bookish and dreamy, which are traits that I really like in characters.’ Gabrielle


‘Kiri is my favourite because she is fun and active and just like me. I have brown hair love to sing just like her. And she is funny just like me you can ask my friends It would be amazing to be her going to different Islands and her name is so creative she is amazing just like you.’ Amy


‘My favourite character is Emma because she is a lot like me and loves books. She is also smart and is just an amazing character.’ Eva


‘I love Quokkas because they are absolutely adorable and being the happiest animal in the world it makes me feel so happy and comfortable around them. Mrs. Quokka is definitely my favourite character 🤩’ Olivia


‘I like Emma because she loves books like me.’ Finn


‘Jed is the best because i like sports and its fun.’ Ryder


‘I like Kiri because she is kind ,fun and loves singing like me and seems like a very nice person to meet.’ Lily


‘Emma is my favourite because she likes books like me and the frizzles because they are funny and cheaky.’ Siena


‘I like Jed who is sporty I have a friend named Jed.’ Fletcher


‘Kiri is my favourite because she is adventurous and really fun and she has great ideas.’ Makayla

'I like Emma the best,because she is always kind.' Sophie


‘I like jed because he is sporty and fit like me.’ Oli

'My favourite character is the belly monster. Because he seems funny and likes to go on adventures. And eat/try new things that get in his way.’ Emily

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