The Blurb On The Back:
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
No, it’s Kevin!
Kevin the flying pony blows in on a magical storm and – DOOF – crashes into the balcony outside Max’s flat.
As the storm waters rise and the town is besieged by creatures (naughty sea monkeys ahoy-eep-eep!) Max and Kevin set about putting things right.
With Max’s quick thinking and a constant supply of biscuits for Kevin, there’s nothing this heroic duo can’t achieve!
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Kevin is a flying pony with tiny wings and a big tummy who lives in the wild and wet hills of the Outermost West in a nest he made in the branches of an oak tree. Kevin likes biscuits (especially custard creams) but they’re hard to come by in the region where he lives.
Max is a young boy who lives in the top floor flat in a tower block in the small town of Bumbleford with his mum (who owns a hairdressing salon on the quiet end of the High Street), his dad (a builder) and his older sister Daisy (who is going through a phase and wants to be called Elvira). Max wants a pet more than anything else in the world, but his parents don’t think it would be fair to keep an animal in their small flat so he makes do with toy animals instead.
One night, a terrible storm blows Kevin all the way to Bumbleford, where he crashes into the balcony of Max’s flat. But Kevin isn’t the only creature blown in on the storm, and as the waters rise in Bumbleford and the town begins to flood, the other residents make their way to Max’s flat for help even as mermaids and sea monkeys and other creatures begin to wreck havoc among the town and its residents. Max and Kevin must team up to help Bumbleford’s residents and sort out the sea monkeys before they take over completely …
Philip Reeve’s and Sarah McIntyre’s illustrated novel for children aged 8+ (the first in a series) is an absolute delight from start to finish, featuring the charming friendship that builds between a boy and a flying horse who, despite his strange appearance thinks he’s perfect as he is and which features cameos from Reeve’s and McIntyre’s previous collaborations (notably the naughty sea monkeys) and plenty of custard cream biscuits.
Max and Kevin are loveable central characters – Max as an ingenious boy who just wants a pet to look after and Kevin as a horse with body positivity and a healthy love of biscuits. The illustrations are a lot of fun with McIntyre bringing her trademarked whimsy and humour (my favourite pictures being those of the guinea pigs Neville and Beyonce who find themselves on their own adventure in a really delightful subplot) and I thoroughly enjoyed the return of the naughty sea monkeys who bring chaos and havoc with them wherever they go and who are fabulously rude to each other and to the hapless Bumbleford residents. I believed in the friendship that grows between the boy and the horse and thoroughly enjoyed Max’s relationship with his family (notably older sister Daisy who has gothic tendencies and a bossy attitude towards her brother). Reeve writes in a light way that engages the reader from the start and has plenty of sly one-liners that had me grinning (especially the observations about some of Max’s neighbours).
All in all I thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable read that both the target age group and adults will enjoy and I will definitely be checking out the sequel.
THE LEGEND OF KEVIN was released in the United Kingdom on 6th September 2018. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.