Book Review: The Mystery Box & Finnigan Flynn, by Lucy Davey and Cat Chapman

Available now in bookshops nationwide.

cv_finnigan_flynnThe Mystery Box & Finnigan Flynn is a fun picture book for children aged from three to six.

The tongue-twisting rhyming text is sure to enthral young listeners and give adults a chance to test out their story time voices.

When a box arrives on Finnigan Flynn’s doorstep, the label warns that it shouldn’t be opened. Does Finnigan take any notice of this advice? Of course he doesn’t!

Then rumble-a-jumble bam-boomed in the box… a couple of toe-nibbling crocs leap out and head straight for Finnigan’s feet. When he trips trying to get away from them, the ‘uh-oh!’ of the text sets up the next piece of magic.

The repeated ‘rumble-a-jumble bam-boomed in the box’ and ‘uh-oh!’ leads the reader and listener on a whimsical journey of nonsense, with socks, a fox, an ox and some frocks being just some of the crazy things that leap out of the box to help or hinder Finnigan.

The story ends with the box appearing on the doorstep of a little girl with a note that gives the same instructions Finnigan had. This can lead to some guesses as to what happens next – does she, like Finnigan, open the box? Will the same things be in the box or will she be treated to some more magical nonsense?

Author Lucy Davey was inspired by Dr Seuss to begin writing children’s books and her resume includes The Fidgety Itch and the Fifi la Belle picture books. Cat Chapman’s beautiful ink and watercolour illustrations perfectly complement The Mystery Box & Finnigan Flynn and will ensure the book is a hit with young children, as there is so much to look at on every page.

The book is a good physical size for children to sit alongside whoever is reading to them and follow the story by looking at the illustrations. I have a feeling some of the lines in this book will end up in everyday vernacular, in particular “uh-oh!”

Reviewed by Faye Lougher

The Mystery Box & Finnigan Flynn
by Lucy Davey and Cat Chapman
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775432999