What is your worst nightmare? Trapped in a pit of snakes? Trapped in a room full of clowns? Being forced to listen to Taylor Swift songs over and over? Frankie Fish’s worst nightmare is being stuck in the past with his grumpy grandad. He may hate it but it is certainly hilarious for readers of Peter Helliar’s new book, Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase.
Twelve-year-old Frankie Fish hates visiting his grandparents. Grandad Fish is cranky, and yells a lot, and has a creepy hook for a hand – plus he NEVER lets Frankie go inside his shed. But after a teensy tiny prank goes wrong at school, Frankie is packed off to Old-People Jail for the whole holidays.
What Frankie doesn’t know is that Grandad has been building a home-made TIME MACHINE in the Forbidden Shed, and the old man has big plans to get his missing hand back. But when Grandad goes back in time, he changes history and accidentally wipes out Frankie’s entire family – Nanna, Mum, Dad, even his annoying sister Saint Lou. Somehow, everyone is gone but Frankie and Grandad! And it’s only a matter of time until Frankie disappears too…
As the last Fish men standing, Frankie and Granddad must race back in time to undo this terrible mistake. But can they stand each other long enough to put the past back together again? And even if they manage the impossible – will Grandad’s wonky time-machine ever get them home?
Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase is a wacky time-travel adventure with a cool new character. There is something in this story for everyone – pranks, time travel, family secrets, a weird grandparent with a hook for a hand, magicians, strange transformations, the Water Tank of Death and plenty of laughs. Peter Helliar’s other career as a comedian shines through in this book as he certainly knows what makes kids laugh. Peter hooks you right from the start and makes you need to keep reading to find out what happens. Like any good time travel story this one asks ‘if you could go back and your past would you do it?’
Frankie Fish is a character that kids, especially boys, are going to love. Frankie is a mischievous kid who loves playing pranks with his friend Drew Bird. When Frankie starts poking around in his grandad’s shed he finds himself stuck in a place and time unlike the one he knows, with his grumpy grandad. Suddenly, Frankie is the sensible one who must keep his grandad on the right track and stop him from making even more of a mess of his life. Thanks to his grandad’s meddling Frankie finds himself changing more than he could ever imagine.
Lesley Vamos’ illustrations add some extra fun to the story, especially when there are several different grandad’s involved. The cover is fantastic and the title literally jumps off it.
It’s good to know that Frankie Fish and the Sonic Suitcase is only the first book in a planned series featuring Frankie. I certainly want to read more of Frankie and Alfie Fish’s adventures!