Monday, 31 August 2015

Children's book review : Jesper Jinx - Marko Kitti

Jesper Jinx is the eleven-year-old protagonist of a series of books by Finnish-born author Marko Kitti and, right from the first chapter, he reminded me of a (slightly) more realistic and modern version of Dennis The Menace. Even as a grown-up, his antics frequently had me sniggering - although I wouldn't find them the slightest bit funny if it was the Madhouse kids doing them ! The squabbles and pranks between Jesper and his sister do sound like the sort of things they'd be capable of though. In particular, the episode where Jesper swaps over the contents of the can of his sister's beloved energy drink for a hideous concoction because she has been winding him up about him not being allowed them, only for his poor unsuspecting dad to take a big swig out of the can, had me perfectly imagining the scene, probably with me as the dad !

I received all three Jesper Jinx books to review and I read them all back to back on our 8 hour drive down to the in laws' in Brittany, before passing them on to the kids.

In book one, we are introduced to Jesper and his family, including Snowy the Cat (who even gets to narrate a chapter) and a strange new Spanish classmate with a moustache !

In book two, Jesper Jinx and the Sneezing Season, Jesper sets off to hunt down a rare purple buzzard in order to win a nature photgraphy competition (with hilarious consequences, as always). As in book one, the animals get to talk again and the second story is narrated by a very cheesed-off squirrel ! The Diary Wars story gives us a further instalment of the high jinks and bickering between Jesper and his sister.

Book three continues in the same vein with a hilariously catastrophic camping trip, a chapter narrated by Frank Fox, the Turkish Pepper story of the title (I bet Turkish Pepper isn't what you thought it would be !) and, as a bonus, an interview with Snowy the Cat.

Each book is divided into short stories and each story is broken up with numerous illustrations, making it much less daunting and more appealing to reluctant or beginner readers. The author also gets the reader involved in the story, making him promise not to let on that he is revealing Jesper's secrets and even making him (the reader) sign a contract. The eccentric characters, hilarious pranks and outrageous stories make the books a joy to read. I would say that the target audience is tween boys, but the stories will appeal to children of both sexes and all ages - I even enjoyed them myself, especially the chapters narrated by the long-suffering animals !

Book four is on the way in September and will be called Jesper Jinx Goes Fishing - I can only imagine the scrapes he'll get into !

star rating : 4.5/5

RRP : £4.99

More information about the book series and the author can be found at

Disclosure : We received the books in order to write an honest review.

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