Morris Gleitzman was born in Lincolnshire and moved to Australia in his teens. He worked as a paperboy, a shelf-stacker, a frozen chicken thawer, an assistant to a fashion designer and more before taking a degree in Professional Writing at Canberra College and becoming a writer. He has written for TV, stage, newspapers and magazines but is best known for his hugely successful children's books including Two Weeks With the Queen, Bumface and Once.
Gr 3-6-Young Limpy just can't figure out why humans hate his kind so much that they gleefully squash cane toads flat on the road every chance they get. Determined to be a goodwill ambassador, he sets off to change people's minds, but meets with nothing but vilification until he and his hapless cousin Goliath hitch a truck to the city and become involved in the hoopla surrounding a major athletic competition, The Games. Humor, both outrageously broad and tongue-in-cheek, permeates this tale of a toad that won't quit trying. The rollicking Australian slang (a glossary explains such expressions as "rack off" and "stack me") and the eye-popping adventures and characters make for a hugely funny read. Stack me, mate, one squiz at this book and kids will read it until they're puffed!-Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
"Never trust a human." Those are the last words of cane toad Limpy's Uncle Preston, "the ones he'd said just before he was flattened by a funeral procession," in Australian writer Gleitzman's (Two Weeks with the Queen) hilarious dark comedy. In fact Limpy has watched countless relatives get run over by highway traffic and, out of deference, rolls up their dried bodies, takes them home and stockpiles them ("Well, don't just leave him lying around in your room," says Limpy's Mum on one such occasion. "That room's a pigsty. I'm tired of tidying up dead relatives in there"). Not content to accept his parents' explanations for his family's advanced mortality rate (all the really nutritious flies hang out near the highway), Limpy is convinced that humans hate cane toads, and he sets off on a farflung journey to find a human being and determine the cause of their enmity. Despite his dearly departed uncle's admonition, Limpy discovers that humans might not all be so bad, as he falls in with a female athlete who, he believes, will help him apply to become an Olympic Games mascot. While the book was originally published for the Sydney Olympics in 2000, and some of the humor has to do with native Aussie animals' hurt feelings at being rejected as mascots, most of the comedy should travel well. Saucy fun from start to finish. Ages 8-12. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.