Posts tagged The Fly Papers

The Sundew Stalks by Johanna Knox.

Danger, wrestling, mutant plants and epic adventure; welcome back to Filmington. The Sundew Stalks is the sequel to The Flytrap Snaps, continuing popular NZ author Johanna Knox’s The Fly Papers series.

Tora de Ronde has been a BodySlam wrestler all her life; she trains every day after school under the proud gaze of her father. Little does her father know that Tora lives another secret life only she knows about. When Tora’s secret leads her to a laboratory full of carnivorous plants, she stumbles upon a complex mystery that will show her who the bad guys are in Filmington…

I was very pleased that The Sundew Stalks was written from the perspective of Tora de Ronde, as she is clever, brave and a strong heroine. Having the second book written from a different point of view is also quite refreshing. Johanna Knox has very cleverly made The Sundew Stalks match up with The Flytrap Snaps- the second perspective makes everything start to fit together; questions are answered and mysteries are solved.

The book also introduces one new character in particular; Dross, the mutant sundew. Dross is just as moody and hilarious as his relative Dion in The Flytrap Snaps- you will instantly fall in love with this charming carnivorous plant.

The Sundew Stalks is even funnier and more addictive than the first novel. Readers won’t be able to put it down as they begin to unravel the mystery of Filmington, Jimmy Jangle and the Fly Papers.

Reviewed by Tierney Reardon.

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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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