The spider warriors are back with a vengeance in Emma Read’s exciting sequel to Milton the Mighty. This time the friendly cluster of arachnids and their human best friends see themselves flying to the tropical island of Hawaii for a holiday! Well, they were led to believe it was going to be a holiday …
Zoe’s Dad, Owen, announces a trip to the Friendly Isle at what seems like the perfect time. The year 6 pupil is stressed out with her SATs and confused by the emotions emanating from the growing closeness of her Dad and his fiancée Greta. In addition to Zoe’s troubles, Milton is struggling with the fame that followed the #NotScaredofSpiders campaign. Hawaii really does seem like the dream destination to help everyone recuperate and reset. Of course, Zoe won’t even contemplate travelling without her eight-legged friends and secretly smuggles them on the trip too, hidden in a tiny box.
Much to Zoe’s disappointment, it very quickly becomes apparent that the holiday is, in fact, a work trip for Dad and Greta. They are on a mission to stop the rainforest being destroyed by eccentric entrepreneur Bradley O’Hair’s bulldozers and latest leisure developments. The ‘holidaymakers’ step into action to protect the beautiful rainforest and its inhabitants including the endangered Hawaiian happy face spiders AND Milton’s Dad! I won’t tell you if they succeed because that would spoil the story but I will let you know that Emma Read manages to tackle a very serious issue calmly and with empathy and that the garish Mr O’Hair is taught a big lesson about environmental consideration.
I certainly learnt a lot reading this book! There are spider facts and terminology dotted throughout. Did you know that spiders have 48 knees each? Have you ever seen a Hawaiian happy face spider? They really do look like they have happy faces! So as well as being a fun story, with a serious environmental message there is also the opportunity to learn so much about these little creatures. Perhaps they are not so scary after all!