Comix (Archie’s Amazing Game; Freddy’s Fox; The Goose who Knew too Much; Arf and the Three Dogs)

Described as ‘new paperback treats for children who are reluctant to read’, all four books have brightly illustrated covers and employ the clever device of including captioned mug shots of the main characters on the front cover. And then on the title page a character addresses the reader directly and sets the scene for the story. The target market is the younger reluctant reader and knowing a little about the characters and the story before opening the first page may make the reading less daunting. These are chapter books but the stories are told in comic form with short bursts of text in a large legible font. The stories are set in the community, reflecting the readers’ increasing independence from school and family. The themes include saving a pet sanctuary, saving a goose that could predict winners, saving a fox from bullies and saving a boy from a boring football-less holiday. These adventure stories are fast-paced and sufficiently engaging to hold readers’ attention. The series might be suitable for reluctant male readers of 8–10. I particularly recommend Archie’s Amazing Game.