Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib, by Darren Farrell

Doug-Dennis and Ben-Bobby are best of friends. But even best friends get bored, so they set off to the circus, where wondrous things will happen. But before the wondrous things even get underway, a split-second decision has Doug-Dennis telling a fib. The fib quickly grows and Doug-Dennis floats away on the growing story, until he reaches highest sky. There he discovers what happens when fibs grow out of control. It’s a big lesson for Doug-Dennis. Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fibis illustrated in a very cartoon-y style, with fibs separated from truth by the colour of the speech bubbles. Endpapers feature a range of circus posters, with claims which just may or may not be fibs. At the beginning the characters on the posters welcome the reader to the story. At the end, it’s farewell.

Sometimes fibs just slip out. Often it’s due to a fear of getting into trouble. But here’s a fib, like most fibs, that very quickly becomes out of control. The follow-up fibs get bigger and bigger, rapidly outgrowing any potential or perceived trouble that the truth might have attracted. Darren Farrell wraps his truth in a wild over-the-top story, that will have readers giggling. There are plenty of extras to look for in the illustrations as Doug-Dennis’s journey to the truth floats him through the stratosphere. The endpapers link with the circus activities and provide their own separate narrative. For an ostensibly simple story about a fib, there’s plenty of other things going on! Recommended for pre- and early-schoolers.

Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib, Darren Farrell
Scholastic Australia 2011
ISBN: 9781741697568

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

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