Wolfie & Fly #2: Band on the Run – Cary Fagan

Illustrations – Zoe Si

Renata Wolfman (AKA Wolfie) is an introvert loner nerd and I adored her! She doesn’t do extra classes like pottery or drama, and detests pink and dressing up, but loves reading about helicopters, alone time and her ‘uniform’ of a white t-shirt, overalls and sneakers. She’s snarky and spends a fair amount of her time (when she’s not involved in something she’s passionate about) underwhelmed.

Wolfie’s next-door neighbour Fly (a much better name than the one his parents gave him – Livingston Flott!) is quite the opposite of Wolfie. Fly is an extrovert, could talk under water and is a bundle of energy and enthusiasm. He also has a limited grasp on boundaries: Wolfie stands by the door telling him he can’t come in so he climbs in the window instead.

Wolfie’s parents are trying to encourage her to get more involved in activities including dance class, during which Wolfie’s ingenuity mixed with her stubborn to make me laugh. Later Fly drops by (through the window) and somehow manages to convince her to become the drummer in his Hokum Street Public School talent show entry.

I loved Wolfie’s character so much and I was really enjoying the story until the imagination sequence, during which the book lost me and I wandered somewhat aimlessly until the end. Wolfie and Fly: Band on the Run is the second book in the series and I confess that I haven’t read the first. Therefore, I may be missing something vital so please don’t let my review dissuade you from giving this series a chance.

On to the section that lost me. Wolfie tells Fly she’s not sure she has an imagination. Fast forward a couple of pages and the imagination sequence begins, and is so real to both kids that they’re shocked when they wind up back in Wolfie’s kitchen once it’s finished. Then there’s an element in the story later that implies the imagination sequence was reality.

Now, I have a lot more imagination than sense and I can suspend my disbelief for all things weird and wacky. However this sequence didn’t seem to fit well with the feel of the rest of the book. It felt off to me and while I was happily immersed from the first page, as soon as the imagination sequence began I found myself surfacing, reading words rather than experiencing an adventure.

I adored Zoe Si’s illustrations. They suited the story and the expressions of Wolfie and Fly worked perfectly given their descriptions. Wolfie’s surly, pouty grimaces were as on point as Fly’s energetic bubble of happy. My favourite illustration was the adorable stuffed toy audience patiently waiting for the performance to begin.

Favourite passage:

“Hurray! At last Wolfie had the house to herself. There was nothing she liked better than being alone. Now she could read her book in peace.”

Now that’s a girl I can relate to! 😃

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A classic story of imagination, friendship, rock bands and high-speed helicopter chases. For fans of Ivy & BeanJudy Moody or Nate the Great.

Everyone’s favourite odd couple is back. Our heroine, Renata Wolfman (Wolfie) does everything by herself. Friends just get in the way, and she only has time for facts and reading. But friendship finds her in the form of Livingston Flott (Fly), the slightly weird and wordy boy from next door. This time, Fly has convinced Wolfie to join him in his one-man band. Before they know it, they’re playing live onstage in front of a stadium of screaming fans. But these fans are about to get out of control – and Wolfie and Fly have to make a daring escape!

Even though Wolfie thinks she’d rather be at home reading by herself, playing the drums in a rock band is actually pretty fun. Maybe there is something to this friend thing.

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