For a long time slime was everywhere. It was the thing to make and kids were obsessed with it. The hype has passed but I still have heaps of kids, every week, asking for books about slime. It’s a fascinating substance for kids and there are so many different types. In Partners in Slime, Christchurch author, Belinda O’Keefe’s new book, friends Jake and Cooper create cool new slime that is in hot demand. However, when they add a new ingredient, things get out of hand.
An amazing new roller coaster, the Steel Beast, is opening in Jake and Cooper’s town in just over a month. They are desperate to ride it on opening day, but they need $110 each and their parents won’t give them the money. They need to make some fast cash but they can’t think of any good ideas. When Jake’s sister, Paige, takes his hair gel for making slime, Jake realises that slime is the key to making some easy money. If they give it their own unique name and market it right, they can sell heaps of it to the kids at school. After some experimentation, Gloopy Gloop is born. They have some early success with sales but Paige starts to sell a superior product and their sales drop rapidly. Jake and Cooper know they need something that will blow their competition away, and Cooper’s scientist uncle, Ivor, has just the solution. Their new products prove hugely popular, so to keep up with the demand, they add a secret ingredient. Adding this to their slime has unexpected consequences, and before they know it, things are seriously out of control. They need to find a solution, and fast.
Partners in Slime is a spectacular story filled with schemes, sibling rivalry, slime and silliness. It’s a story that is entertaining from beginning to end and you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next. It reminds me of Paul Jennings’ stories, because there’s an element of weird and wacky, but it’s also really funny. I especially enjoyed the part where Dave the turtle is walking down the street, between the shady and sunny parts.
Belinda’s characters are very relatable for kids. Jake and Cooper are determined to make the money they need for their ticket for the Steel Beast. Just when you think things are looking up for Jake and Cooper though, something happens to bring them back down to earth. The sibling rivalry between Jake and Paige is really strong, and Jake will do anything to beat his sister. I enjoyed Uncle Ivor, because he’s just a little mad (I mean, who keeps a mysterious space rock in their house?).
Illustrator, Minky Stapleton, and cover designer, Erin Nicol, have created a slime-tastic cover that will grab readers’ attention. The cover oozes green slime, and the turtle with stuff stuck to his shell makes you curious about the story.
Partners in Slime is one of my top NZ reads this year and it will be easy to sell this book to kids. I love the ending, which certainly leaves the story open for more adventures with Jake and Cooper. It would be a fantastic read aloud, especially for Years 5/6. It is sure to hook the whole class and keep them begging to read another chapter.