When a wandering pedlar arrives, excitement grips the Vikings of Frondfell. Only Leif suspects that something isn't quite right about this bearded, wrinkly old man. So when things start to go missing and the pedlar mysteriously disappears too, Leif decides to become a Viking detective.
All he has to do is brave the mad inventor Queue's insane flying skite, avoid a head-on collision with Nell the wandering cow and track down the pedlar.
What could possibly go wrong?
With a lurch, the cart – with me in it – started down the slope, slowly at first, but rapidly picking up speed. Very rapidly. Too rapidly!
As my ears began to be pinned back by the rushing wind, I suddenly wondered, Maybe I should have been more generous about letting Quickfingers have the first go? The cart was hitting every hummock and bump on the hill and my teeth were rattling like a scared skeleton.
“Go! Go!” yelled Queue and Quickfingers from the safety of the hilltop. “Go! Oh – no!”
They weren’t the only ones yelling “Oh no!” I was too. For there, clomping gently along the bottom of the hill, was Wandering Nell. She’d chosen today of all days to escape from the cattle enclosure. She’d chosen this moment of all moments to arrive at our launch site. And then she made one more unfortunate choice. She chose to stop, directly in the path of the thundering cart and me, to have a leisurely mouthful of grass.
... that Wandering Nell is my favourite cow of all time?
... that making blue dye in the traditional Viking way is every bit as stinky as I say it is in the book?
... that the skite is the very first vehicle I've ever invented, so I don't know for certain if it would work? What do you think?
"I'd never read one of Joan Lennon's books before, but I always enjoy her blogs and other writings, so when I came across Leif Frond and Quickfingers in my local library I immediately grabbed it. I was not disappointed. These short books are a lot of fun, with nods to James Bond and chapter titles like "Woad Rage". Tucked in amongst the mayhem is quite a lot about life as most Vikings lived it - not longboats and raids, but farming and storytelling and mixing dye. The combination of adventure and word-play will entertain older readers as well as the youngest. And with so many promising characters bumping into each other at every turn, a series must surely be in the offing? Let's hope so."
Ann Turnbull, An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
"this is laugh-aloud fun for age 8+"
"An exciting and hilarious Viking adventure."
Rahva Raamat, Estonia
Visit Brendan Kearney's website here.