Posts tagged Flytrap Snaps

The Flytrap Snaps by Johanna Knox

The Flytrap Snaps is the first book in The Fly Papers series by Johanna Knox. It is an quirky yet cool tale. I even found the dedication page unique:

Dedicated to all the carnivorous plants that sit on our window sills and inspire us (you know who you are).”

Spencer Fogle is the hero of this story: he lives in the town of Filmington, which is famous for its variety of landscapes. For this reason it is used by producers all over the world to film movies, ads and videos. Spencer is used to hearing screams on his way to school. One day, Spencer hears a scream, and something tells him that this is not special effects in a horror film. He goes to investigate…and so begins a mysterious adventure, involving carnivorous plants, hench-women, wrestling and shampoo ads.

Dion is Spencer’s friend, and meets Spencer during the story. Dion is very theatrical, and dreams of becoming a movie star. He also happens to be a Venus Flytrap with four eyes. Yes…I think that Dion Horrible (his stage name) is definitely the most original element of the book!

I think that Johanna Knox has done a wonderful job of fleshing out the characters. I imagined each one very vividly…from Tora, a wrestling expert with amazing hair, to Spencer’s parents, who own a business that sells stuffed food, such as sardine-stuffed lemons. I also admire the way she writes in such a consistently humorous and strong way. There wasn’t a dull moment in the book, nor a moment when I wasn’t smiling at Dion’s antics.

The mystery gets darker as the book progresses. You will find yourself rooting for Spencer and Dion, hating Jimmy Jangle and his salami-breath sidekicks, Sybil and Cassandra, and turning the pages faster and faster as the pace of the adventure quickens. Will Jimmy Jangle find Dion? What is Tora’s secret? Will Dion get his change at fame? You will find the answers to these questions- and more- by reading The Flytrap Snaps.

By Tierney.

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Guest Author: Johanna Knox, author of The Flytrap Snaps

Today we’re lucky to be joined by New Zealand author, Johanna Knox.  Johanna is the author of The Flytrap Snaps, one of my favourite New Zealand books of 2011.  It’s a quirky story with action, mystery and plenty of laughs.  Here’s Johanna to tell us all about carnivorous plants and the part they play in her story.

 

You know you’re a carnivorous plant fan when …

I’m normally a gentle, peace-loving sort of person – really I am! – but I get ghoulish shivers of, yes, almost delight, when I watch my own potted carnivorous plants eat bugs. I know I’m not the only one.

I admit it: It satisfies me to see house flies meeting their demise, while at the same time becoming food for a beautiful plant.

Carnivorous plants come in many shapes, sizes, colours, and species. I like to keep mine in pots along windowsills and in sheltered corners of the garden, and I try to water them most days. Sometimes they seem almost like pets, with their own personalities.

In fact, that’s why I started writing The Fly Papers series … to have fun imagining what each different carnivorous plant might be like if it grew a mind of its own, and could walk and talk.

If you’ve read the first book, The Flytrap Snaps, you’ll know it’s about a mutant Venus flytrap called Dion who wants to be a horror movie star.

The second book, which I’m busy with now, is called The Sundew Stalks. The name of the mutant sundew who stars in it is Dross.

Other species of carnivorous plant that you’ll meet in The Fly Papers include:

  • Bladderworts, which suck in their prey through underground trapdoors
  • Butterworts, which glue insects to their buttery leaves, and
  • Nepenthes, which have enormous pitchers, like cups, in which to catch their prey. (Real-life Nepenthes grow so big they sometimes trap frogs, lizards, birds, and small rodents.)

You can buy Venus flytraps, sundews, and pitcher plants in garden centres, or online, including on TradeMe.

When my family and I started collecting these plants, we lived in Wellington, but we made purchases from an amazing carnivorous plant nursery in Christchurch, run by Ross Taylor.  Since the earthquakes, Ross has downsized his nursery – for now. But he still sells plants at shows and privately.

And if you want to find out more about all sorts of carnivorous plants, you could start here, at The Fly Papers blog.

COMPETITION – Win a copy of The Flytrap Snaps

Answer this question: Why do you think the sundew character in The Fly Papers series is called Dross? (Hint: do an internet search on sundews.)

Email your answer with your name, address and phone number to christchurchkidsblog@ccc.govt.nz

All correct answers go in the draw to win a copy of The Flytrap Snaps.  Entries close Monday 30 January.  See below for terms and conditions  Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flytrap Snaps by Johanna Knox

Spencer Fogle is an ordinary kid who lives in the extraordinary town of Filmington.  His hometown used to be called Flemington, until film and TV crews discovered its range of landscapes, from fiery volcanoes to snowy mountains and lush rainforests, and took over the town.  The town’s richest resident, Jimmy Jangle, controls most of the business within Filmington and holds alot of people’s futures in his hands.  When Spencer is walking home from school one day, he hears blood-curdling screams coming from one of the science labs and goes to investigate.  Spencer uncovers a dark plot involving carnivorous plants, genetically modified flies and a mysterious, hidden file.  However, Jimmy Jangle and his thugs are willing to do anything to keep the truth covered up.

The Flytrap Snaps is the first book in The Fly Papers series, by New Zealand author Johanna Knox and illustrator, Sabrina Malcolm.  It’s a quirky story with action, mystery and plenty of laughs.  I love the idea of Filmington, with it’s different companies set up for the movie and television industry.  There’s the science labs that create experiments to be used in films, catering companies to supply food and drink for the film and TV crews, and the BodySlam Stunt Wrestling Club where they train stunt people for the movies.  I really liked Spencer because he’s just an ordinary kid who has to deal with an extraordinary situation.  I can’t wait to read the second book to find out what Spencer, Dion and Tora get up to next, and to solve the mystery of The Fly Papers.

Recommended for 9+    8 out of 10

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