The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy

(1 customer review)


Merlington has little happening other than its fishmongers’ meetings and busy shops that line the streets. These are overseen by fish oil scalped Harold Mole, who as Prime Warden determines the direction of the best catch. Naturally, the very best arrives at his establishment, Mullet Over.

However, Harold sleeps poorly, especially upon the evening when he overhears Marina Minnow and Edie Krill talking about a ‘wonderful boy with crab claws for hands‘. Not only is he unsuccessful in assuming control of Minnow’s, but it seems his past is about to return…

The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy seems similar to one that Marina Minnow might spin to entertain herself and her friends. However, this is no tale. William is a real boy, with tentacles for hair and crab pincers for hands and scales upon his body. What’s more he can speak and read and create sashimi that brings customers to Minnow’s such as Marina’s mother has dreamed.

However, all of that could be undone by one brooding fishmonger. What’s more, William wants to find the kindly fisherman who rescued him from the depths, cared for him, taught him to read, for whom he waited in the ghostly hut along the pier…. Where has he gone?

The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy is a witty, fantastic tale of fish, fishmongers, small towns and wonder. It’s also the story of friendship, hope and family. Bookwagon loves and recommends this story to middle grade readers.

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The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy

Richard Pickard

(Chicken House)

The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy might seem to be one of Marina Minnow’s stories. After all, she ‘loves to tell tales’. However there seems to be some resistance to her ‘bedtime stories’, especially from Wendy Whitby. Therefore, when Marina discovers William in the abandoned hut on the pier, his description seems unbelievable.
However, this boy has tentacles for hair, crab like pincer hands and is covered in scales. Yet this boy can talk and read. Whoever the fisherman was who rescued and cared for him, took time to teach him to read the ‘old tins floating in the sea’. However, it seems that Marina and William are ‘in the same boat’, for each miss a fisherman father.
Yet what will be the reception for William in Merlington? Then again, what is the truth behind his story. Furthermore, what of the speedboat that Marina hears on the night that William that appears to be ridding itself of evidence? Are there any clues as to William’s family? Just how safe is William? Could there be a fish oiled Prime Warden fishmonger with ill intentions?
The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy won its author the special chairman’s prize at the Times/ Chicken House writing competition:- Richard Pickard’s Journey to Publication. While this title has distinct whiffs of Eerie-on-Sea and Malamander, there is such good humour, punning, fish fiction fantasy, that it is its own work. Bookwagon loves this title and recommends it to our middle grade readers.

1 review for The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy

  1. Paula Hale

    I really enjoyed this adventurous tale full of fishy puns. This would be great for the classroom, humorous and quirky. I do hope there will be more adventures.

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