Book Review,  Reviews

Penelope Crumb Follows Her Nose – Shawn K Stout

“Miss Stunkel’s art class is my All-Time Favourite. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the school is all right, I guess. But for me, drawing is like wiggling my toes in the ocean. It just feels good. 
I take out my No. 2 Hard drawing pencil from my red metal toolbox and carefully study my best friend Patsy’s face.” 

Penelope Crumb is just a normal girl. However before you read her story you should know that her brother is an alien, her mum draws creepy inside body parts and she has her grandfathers huge nose. This isn’t apparent to Penelope until her best friend Patsy Cline draws the huge honker one day in art class. This drives Penelope to learn more about her Grandfather, the one she always assumed was dead, but she learns now is alive and well. 
Penelope and her friend Lizzie Maple set off across state to find her Grandpa, but what if Grandpa Felix doesn’t want to be found? Will Penelope ever find out what she wants to know about her family? 

I enjoyed this book, it wasn’t something I would usually read but I received it unsolicited from the publisher and thought it would be a quick read so gave it a go. 
The story was quite interesting, Penelope’s knowledge of her nose brings about information about a grandfather she never knew was still around. She decides she wants to know more and will stop at nothing to find everything out, including bunking off school. 
I thought that Penelope was a breath of fresh air from other characters, she had a fun way of looking at things and I liked her attitude. Whilst most characters may freak out when faced with the knowledge that everyone else thinks they have a big nose, Penelope just put all her feelings into finding her grandpa. I liked what she did to her friends picture as it showed that really, she doesn’t mind having a big nose and maybe that makes her special. 
The book was illustrated throughout and I really liked the pictures, they were fun and made the book exciting, helping form pictures of the characters in my mind. The reader is told that Penelope loves to draw too so it made it look like Penelope had drawn the pictures herself. 
I also thought that the even though the book is set in America it translates really well for a UK audience, I know that as a kid I wouldn’t have liked to read a very American book as it wouldn’t have related as well to me as a British book does. With Penelope Crumb though the only time its really mentioned is in the place names. I think that will really help any young reader relate even more to the character. 
I think this is a fun book for the 7+ age range and even though it’s not something I would usually read, I think it’s definitely a book I will recommend. 
Penelope Crumb Follows her Nose will be published on July 4th by Quercus Children’s books. My copy was sent from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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