Review: Sleep-Over Take-Over

Sleep-over Take-over is an absolute rollicking delight of an adventure, guaranteed to bring fits of giggles:  hilarious with a capital H, heart-warming and utterly, zanily brilliant. 

Inseparable best friends Otis and Jagger are looking forward to an epic weekend chilling out together whilst everyone else in their class attends the 11th birthday party sleepover of super-rich Rocco Rococo.  That is until the boys find themselves unexpectedly invited to the sleepover, an offer which Jagger can’t resist, so Otis decides to go along too.  Could this be the worst decision of his young life so far, or will it open up unexpected opportunities?

When the boys arrive at the party, they are not exactly welcomed with open arms, but they are blown away by what is on offer:  fire jugglers, unicyclists, dodgems and an irresistible chocolate fountain! 

Waking up the following morning, Otis should be able to reflect on the fun he has had with Jagger but there are two big problems:  Jagger is nowhere to be found, and Otis cannot remember anything about what happened.  Oh, did I say, there were two problems.  Well, slight big understatement:  Otis is met with a chaotic – but very funny – scene.  There is a donkey breathing in his face; the birthday boy has ‘loser’ tattooed on his forehead; there’s a crate of doves and a suitcase of sausages; and, did I mention that Otis is wearing a wedding dress? 

Rocco’s so-called friends quickly scarper, leaving Otis and Rocco, who also can’t remember the events of his party, to solve the mystery of what has happened.  Will they be able to return the unexpected morning-after findings to their rightful owners before Rocco is grounded? 

And so begins a riotous escapade as Otis and Rocco race to return what is not theirs, as they attempt to uncover the real culprit, and as they work to discover what actually happened at the sleepover.

Just wow de wow!  This is a sizzlingly brilliant, laugh-out-loud funny story that kept me giggling throughout, and ever so eager to find out what on earth happened and who was behind the mayhem.  I loved that this action-packed, exciting adventure is overflowing with on point humour:  a mixture of sharp, wickedly funny observations and slapstick hilarity.  The encounters that the children have as they attempt to sort out the chaos that they have awoken to overflows with comedic genius, and reveals clever nuggets to lead the reader towards an unexpected, but fantastic, revelation. 

I guess, sometimes, you just gotta wear your weirdness with pride; it’s when you try to hide it that problems start.

Not only is this story a wickedly fun read; it also has a great mystery to solve, and some wonderful messages about friendship, belonging, acceptance, and the importance of being true to yourself. I think these are messages that will resonate with children, especially as they move to secondary schools.

The illustrations complement the humour and vibrancy of the story perfectly, and bring plenty of opportunities for extra giggles!

Sleep-over Take-over is a perfect blend of humour and heart and is sure to be a rip-roaring hit with children of 9+.  I cannot wait to share this one with my Year 6 class!

Thank you to Harriet Dunlea and Scholastic for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

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