Title: Fred and the Fantastic Tub-Tub
Author: Zeb Soanes
Illustrator: Anja Uhren
Genre: Younger children’s fiction
Book format: Hardback
Description: When Fred’s green-fingered grandfather shows her a map to the mysterious island of Papa Nupi, he leads her on a summer holiday adventure that just might save the planet. From Zeb Soanes, author of the bestselling Gaspard the Fox books.
Fred and the Fantastic Tub-Tub is also an exciting orchestral concert work by James Marangone.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: This is such a good story and a great one with an environmental message. Fred is spending the holidays with her Grandpa who is a botanist and lives far away from the city where Fred lives. When she arrives she immediately starts enjoying all the plants and flowers that her Grandpa has and spends time with him and his cat. One night while Fred is sleeping she wakes to hear a strange sound. Searching outside, she soon discovers a secret which her Grandpa has been keeping from her, something amazing which leads the two of them on a special journey, in search of a very special flower.
I really enjoyed this book from the start, seeing Fred go to her grandpa’s house and how she begins enjoying all the plant life he’s obsessed with. When Fred discovers what her grandpa was hiding they then embark on a journey across the oceans to find a special plant on the island of Papa Nupi. I don’t want to spoil it by giving away too much but once they find the island there are some things that happen that show us some of the realities of our world today.
While the islanders living there have some brilliant ways of coping with it, the plastic waste shown is interesting and I love how this book has a deeper message about the environment as well as just being a fun tale about the elusive Tub-Tub plant too. The illustrations really help add to the story and I love the colours used and how everything looks. There are illustrations throughout the book and all in the same colour set which makes the story of the plants especially the Tub-Tub which Fred and her grandpa are looking for look more magical and surreal.
There is an introduction at the start of the book which explains how this was written for an orchestral piece of music which I found interesting. There’s also a QR code for you to listen to the music although I haven’t tried this yet. At the back of the book there are some facts about the story which I found interesting, as well as tips on how to reuse plastic bottles and also the beginning of a journal that children can start like the one Fred has (the one seen on the inside front and back covers). Overall this is a great story and one with a much deeper environmental message which is woven in very well with the tale of the plant. I think it’s interesting and amazing that this was written for the orchestral piece too and now I’m keen to listen to it and see if it fits the story I’ve read!
What do you think of this book? Do you like listening to orchestral music? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂