Fergus Crane

Publisher: Random House

The first book in the Far Flung Adventure Series by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, Fergus Crane is the story of a young boy whose daily routine is disrupted by the arrival of tiny winged boxes carrying mysterious messages from a long-lost uncle. So begins an adventure involving pirates and parrots, talking penguins and walking furniture, mouth-watering macadacchio nuts and the elusive fire diamonds.

Young Fergus lives with his mother on the top floor of the Archduke Ferdinand Apartments, populated beneath by an array of eccentric neighbours. Life is hard for both of them as his mother struggles to make a living at the local bakery supplemented by rather odd tasks supplied to her by The Fateful Voyage Trading Co. Fergus ends up being schooled for free at a moored sailing ship where the teachers are in fact Captain Claw and his band of pirates who are surreptitiously training their charges for the tunnel work necessary to retrieve a buried treasure. Rescued from imminent danger by a winged metal horse, Fergus with the help of his uncle, sets out to rescue his schoolfriends from the clutches of the pirates in an adventure that will lead him to the far-off Scorpion Archipelago, fabulous riches and the return of the father he never knew.

With a page-turning narrative and delightful illustrations, Stewart and Riddell combine to deliver a surreal, charming and humorous tale sure to draw in even the youngest of readers. But as with all great stories, beneath the fantasy lie deeper themes of friendship, courage and re-united families.

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