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Hugo Pepper by Paul Stewart
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The brilliant team of writer Paul Stewart and illustrator Chris Riddell (of the Edge Chronicles) has created a wondeful trilogy of fantastical tales for a younger audience. The books are full of illustrations, large font, and fantastical stories that make you want to read the book in one sitting. Great for reluctant readers. My favorite title in the series is the last one -- Hugo Pepper (2006) about a boy, orphaned and raised in the Frozen North by reindeer herders, when his adventurous parents crash land in the Frozen North and are eaten by polor bears. It is not until years later that Hugo Pepper finds the magnificient mechanical sled hidden in the barn and sets the compass to "home" where he uncovers a plot that threatens his mermaid godmothers and other friends of his parents. The first title in the series is -- Fergus Crane (2004) who attends school on the ship Betty Jeanne which is not what it appears to be. A long-lost uncle makes contact with Fergus explaining what happened to the father he never met and exposing the school for a pirate ship wanting the children to help them aquire ill-gotten riches. The second book is -- Corby Flood (2005) a young girl traveling to a new home with her family on board the run-down cruise ship carrying a strange mixture of passengers and a crate that holds a mysterious creature that sings said songs. All of the books end in a way that leaves the reader to expect more stories in the series of FAR-FLUNG ADVENTURES. ( )
  range5 | Dec 2, 2012 |
(For the whole series:) In a world just a little unlike our own, truly exceptional children go on truly strange adventures. While each of these books could be read separately, they are definitely a series, as the kids all end up at the same crazy school in the end. As always, Stewart and Riddell have created a world full of odd inventions, odder people, and strange beasties of different shapes and sizes. The kids are spunky and resourceful. The characters would make great fun for make-believe play. The illustrations are amazing. Riddell has a style I would recognize anywhere, which complements Stewart’s odd brain.
  sylvatica | Mar 7, 2011 |
I had previously read the other far-flung adventure books and found them to be well concieved and entertaining. While the premise of Hugo Pepper is good, it was much more circuitous and overpopulated compared to the others. I understand that there is the story-telling institute in the book, so there are several seemingly unrelated stories that begin to fit together, but after a while it just became irritating. I think the age window of the audience is very narrow, just between getting the skills to read a book of this size and the understanding that stories should have some order. I would recommend this for 2nd-3rd grade readers. ( )
  ASBiskey | Dec 17, 2010 |
The problem with getting into your forties and beyond is that you inevitably need reading glasses. I managed to lose mine for a whole day this weekend, but luckily I found them this morning – phew! So yesterday I had to read with my old glasses (which are now perfect for computer work, but no good for small type). I had to find something with bigger print to read, hence I picked out this book for children aged around 7+ from my daughter’s bookcase.

My daughter and I are big fans of Chris Riddell’s Ottoline books. Indeed I’m a fan of Riddell’s wonderfully quirky and intricate illustrations in general – he currently does the Literary Review front cover each month (see right), and designed the cover for The Graveyard Book amongst others. He has a very particular style, and his girl faces in particular are fab in an Alice in Wonderland meets Wednesday Addams sort of way with their high foreheads and intelligent stares. So while I was familiar with him, I’d not yet read any of his collaborations with Paul Stewart, of which there are a growing number, including the bestselling Edge Chronicles.

Hugo Pepper is the third in another series called Far Flung Adventures, and it was an absolute delight. The babe in arms Hugo was found in a crashed sledge by snowmen, who then left him on the doorstep of a reindeer herder couple in the Far North, who adopt him and bring him up. Although he loves them dearly, when he’s about ten years old, the discovery of his parents’ wrecked sled leads him to seek his home. So he sets off on an adventure, eventually arriving in Firefly Square. There he meets a whole group of family friends who are under siege from the new evil editor of the town newspaper which used to be edited by Hugo’s grandfather. It is now publishing scurrilous attacks on his friends to drive them out of town…

We meet weird and wonderful characters in this adventure – walking Mermaids, Lighthousekeepers, Pirates, Artisan tea-blenders and carpetweavers, a one-eared cat and lots of big footed snowmen. If you like Lemony Snicket, you’ll definitely enjoy this tale and its illustrations; and if I’m honest, I’d love to read the rest of this series and more by this pair – even with my normal glasses! ( )
  gaskella | Jun 2, 2010 |
while I am a big fan of Paul stewart and Chris Riddell this book left me disappointed.
The story follows young Hugo pepper who is rescued and taken in by reindeer herders in the far north when his parents are eaten by polar bears. Hugo sets off to find out about his real parents and meets many interesting characters.
While it has many very fun characters in this book, all typical of Stewart's work, the story itself feels too jumbled while reading it. For the first half of the book I didn't really know what the story was as they kept introducing new characters all with their own back stories. as I said im a big fan of previous work but this one left me disappointed ( )
  spidermonkey79 | Apr 1, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385750927, Hardcover)

A brilliantly inventive, fabulously illustrated addition to the Far- Flung Adventures series from the award-winning, bestselling author and
illustrator team Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell. Set in the same world as the Fergus Crane and Corby Flood stories, this is the tale of a small boy, Hugo Pepper, and his amazing exploits. Raised in the Frozen North by reindeer herders, his parents eaten by polar bears when he was just a baby, Hugo discovers that the sled they arrived in has a very special compass—one that can be set to "Home." And so Hugo arrives in Firefly Square—to discover a group of very special friends, and a dastardly enemy. With three-toed snowmen, a secret buried treasure, and a host of fabulous stories, this is a fantastic new tale in this series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:41 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A boy, orphaned and raised in the Frozen North by reindeer herders, boards his birth parents' sled and sets its special compass to "Home," where he uncovers a plot that threatens his mermaid godmothers and other friends of his family.

» see all 3 descriptions

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