Elastic Island Adventures
Kingdom of Blong
Duckling Publishing, Available in paperback
Kingdom of Blong is the fifth in the Elastic Island Adventures children’s book series for children aged 8 - 12. 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 arrive at the Kingdom of Blong, they discover that Blong the Cat is the island’s missing king. Blong is greeted with a great deal of fanfare, but it looks like fame might be the ruin of him. Will Blong’s relationship with Emma continue? And why do the bilbies, led by Baxter the Bilby, decide it is a good idea to live on a dangerous island ruled by cats? Will they end up on the dinner menu, or will they survive?
Suitable for children 8 - 12 years
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'As in many children’s fantasy adventure books the central theme in Elastic Island Adventures: Kingdom of Blong is the battle between good and evil. It is an action-packed thrilling read. But interspersed between the scary parts are lighthearted moments. There is love in the air between two of the bilbies. I think that will make it a much more enjoyable read, especially for younger readers. While tweenies who are undergoing their own emotional changes will be able to guess what is behind Kiri’s emotional outbursts and her awkward relationship with Jed.
I so admire Karen McMillan’s inventiveness. For the Kingdom of Blong she has again created a cast of fascinating anthropomorphic creatures. Some are purely imaginary like the bilbies. But the sagacious Heathcliff is based on her husband Iain’s real-life pet.
She has made the cat’s palace into a wondrous place. And to extend young readers’ literary knowledge has playfully inserted plaques all over its walls with feline quotes from famous authors including Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway.
As a grandparent I heartily recommend this book aimed at 7–12-year-olds. Giving children a good book to read is such a positive way to persuade them to put away their electronic devices for a while. And the adventurous four who are courageous enough to stand up for the weak are great role models.' NZ Booklovers
'Miss Nine is a consummate fan of the Elastic Island adventures, and was overjoyed to find she was to review the latest in the series with me. The four children and their cat Blong have become almost like members of the family; she speaks of them as if she knows them personally!
High adventure rules in this story. There is a kidnapping, treason, a mystery to be solved, warfare (between cats and bilbies), and plenty of magic. It is real escapist stuff, but with links to the real world through local places (Browns Bay and the Pacific Ocean). There is also the inevitable teasing that goes on within a group when the members all know one another well. Miss Nine loved this; she said the best part of arguments within a family or small friendship group is being able to give one another a hard time while being aware that at the end of the day you are still all there to support one another. Even if your name is Kiri or Ethan! 10/10.' Kiwi Reviews
'This series is a lot of fun, easy to read and brings up problems that we humans have in our own society. Reluctant readers will have no problem with these stories.' Bob's Book Blog
‘This story is another winner from Karen McMillan. Previous books in the series have been very popular with their audience. With Blong being the lead character in this adventure it will no doubt continue the success of this series.' Radio Southland