Len and Spike, by Wendy Elks

Len lives in the country, with his best mate Spike. The fact that Spike’s a bird doesn’t worry Len. Spike is good company – and he has a secret. Other cockatoos can talk, but Spike can do better – he understands what he’s saying, and can hold a real conversation. Len reckons they could be famous if the world knew about Spike’s amazing abilities. The only problem is, Spike refuses to reveal his secret to anyone other than Len.

But when Spike sees a television advertisement for a big fair in Sydney, he agrees to show the world his amazing skill if Len will take him to the fair. Len sells his car to finance their trip and together the two set out, certain they are on their way to fame and fortune.

In the city, things don’t go quite according to plan. It is a noisy and confusing place and Spike finds it hard to cope. When the pair get their big chance to appear on television, disaster strikes. It appears their friendship, which has lasted twenty years, could be about to fall apart.

Len & Spike is a fun book for upper primary aged children, who will enjoy the idea of a bird who can really talk, and the humour of the piece. Some may feel a little let down by the ending, which sees both Len and Spike happy, but loses some of the pace and action of the earleir chapters. Despite this, Len & Spike is worth a read.

Len & Spike, by Wendy Elks
An Omnibus Book from Scholastic Australia