Eyespy Emily Eyefinger, by Duncan Ball

Reviewed by Dale Harcombe

My grandson is a huge fan of Duncan Ball’s Selby books, and is collecting them at a great rate. I have to say I have enjoyed those of the Selby books I have read too so I was interested to read this Emily Eyefinger book. Eyespy Emily Eyefinger is a compilation of 4 books which were previously published as books 5-8 in the Emily Eyefinger series.

Emily Eyefinger has an advantage over many of us. She has an extra eye, on the end of her finger. She discovers, and readers will too, that it can become very handy for solving problems.

Duncan Ball displays the same quirky humour in this book as in the Selby books. In the first story Emily introduces the reader to the ‘Mouse Code’ she and her friend Malcolm have devised. By cracking the mouse code, she learns her friend and his father, Professor Mousefinder, are in trouble. She convinces the soldiers to take her along on their rescue mission. Crawling through the jungle she finds her eyefinger comes in very handy.

Emily is a daring, enthusiastic, likeable and inventive main character who helps solve problems for those she cares about. A kind hearted girl, Emily helps her friend Janey who is in danger of losing the part she covets in a movie and helps her teacher, Ms Plump with the opera she is in. Emily manages to always be in the right place to help her friends or just when trouble is around.

For me it lacked a little of the charm and fun of the Selby books, though I’m sure avid Emily Eyefinger fans might not agree. And maybe I’m just a sucker for dog stories. However, I’m sure children will relate to Emily and enjoy her adventures. Readers from around 7 and upwards will enjoy this book and it would be a good introduction for anyone who has not met Emily Eyefinger before.

The end of the book contains an interesting anecdote from Duncan Ball which explains how Emily Eyefinger came to be.

Eyespy Emily Eyefinger, by Duncan Ball , Illustrated by Craig Smith
Angus&Roberston an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
ISBN 13:978 0 7322 8637 8