Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

Book Review: Kizmet and the case of... Book Series by Frank Woodley

Kizmet, Gretchen and Spencer.
Frank Woodley is a master of physical comedy, silly absurd humor and is an Australian national treasure. I've always looked forward to his TV appearances whether it be a guest spot or staring in his own TV series.

I've followed his appearances for years, even so, it was news to me that he's also a talented artist/illustrator (I'm not surprised I just never knew that was something he did). When I saw him promoting his book series, Kizmet, on Channel Ten's The Project and got a quick glimpse of his illustration style I just had to see more. So I immediately got online and bought the first two, newly released Kizmet books.



Written and illustrated by Frank, I was particularly impressed by his character design - especially of Detective Spencer, the bumbling comedy relief character, clearly intended for Frank to play in any live action adaptation.

I can't really pin point what I like about Frank's illustration style other than there's a hint of Quentin Blake's style  (well known illustrator of many of Roald Dahl's books) in the line work, even though Frank's illustrations do look very different to Quentin's. Maybe they share a certain 'quirkiness'?

Kizmet and the case of
The Tassie Tiger.
The Kizmet series is targeted at younger readers who are just starting to read books with more words and fewer pictures but aren't yet ready for full on novels. They're fairly easy to read with short chapters where something interesting is always happening to progress the story.

Uniquely they are told from the perspective of Kizmet's assistant, Gretchen, who just happens to be a Currawong - which, from a writer's point of view is genius. Even though Gretchen is a bird and can't actually talk in English to the other characters we get everything she is thinking along with her view of the action.

Kizmet herself is a very sharp, possibly pre-teen, detective who could be described as 'tomboy-ish' (if that's still a PC description?). Her father, Spencer, is a renowned detective working for IMPACT (International Mysteries, Puzzles and Crimes Taskforce) though, his comical incompetence does make it a stretch that anyone believes in his abilities.

As mentioned there are two books in the series, Kizmet and the case of The Tassie Tiger and Kizmet and the case of The Smashed Violin. Both are fairly straight forward, enjoyable, mystery tales that are sure to keep readers engaged.

Kizmet and the case of
The Smashed Violin.
From my point of view, I was expecting a little more slap-stick and laugh out loud funny moments considering the author's comedy heritage. Frank does try to do this with Spencer but writing visual comedy jokes doesn't translate as well as they would if Frank himself was performing them as part of a live action show. (Unfortunately it's not possible to have Frank act out the funny moments for you).

I really think future books in the series could be greater enhanced with more illustrations highlighting the visual humor. More showing and less telling perhaps?

That aside both books are very enjoyable. The kind of book I would've read back in the day as a pre-teen. I'd even be tempted to buy more in the series (I'm assuming there will be) just for Frank's illustrations.



Comments

  1. Did you buy your books at the Book depository and get free postage, if the price was right if you looked at one or two sites I suppose. But if the postage is free, you'd save on the price anyway if it was dearer. Book World charge $5.50 now I think instead of the free it used to be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I bought them directly from the publisher's site because I couldn't find them on other sites at the time with them being just released. Turns out if I'd have waited a week or two I could've got both books cheaper from the Big W up the road.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Comments not directly related to the post will be deleted. This includes spammy generic comments with links to websites not related to the post.


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

The Star Wars Saga: Episode II, Attack of the Clones *All Spoilers*

Continuing my series of posts, as one of my local TV stations shows every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens , here is my response to and thoughts on  Star Wars, Episode II, Attack of the Clones . After The Phantom Menace I just wasn't interested in seeing Episode II in the cinema. I don't think I made any effort to see it or even had any anticipation for it's release.

The Star Wars Saga: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace *All Spoilers*

One of my local TV stations is showing every Star Wars movie in order, every Saturday, for the next six weeks leading up to the release of Star Wars, Episode VII, The Force Awakens in theaters this Christmas. I plan to watch each film, at least two of which I've never managed to watch all the way through. Then I thought I'd blog about each movie here. Not so much a review but more my thoughts about the film, ranging from what I like, to what I see as a problem and maybe my thoughts on original trilogy re-releases and updates. This post I'll start with Episode I, The Phantom Menace but first, a little history of my fandom.

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments? If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate. For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured). At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop , Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self . As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside . Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme , was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2 , because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below. My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went now

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you. Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age. Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen. Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time