Book Review | The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy – Richard Pickard | #AD-PR

Title: The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy
Author: Richard Pickard
Publication date: 5/8/2021
My rating: 
Goodreads rating: 
 Middle Grade, Fantasy, Children’s

I would like to thank Jasmine Bartlett-Love and Chicken House Books for sending me an AD-PR copy of this book to review as part of the blog tour. All opinions and views are my own and are not influenced by receiving a copy of this book in any way. I would also like to thank the author, Richard Pickard.


When Marina discovers a boy with a head of tentacles and crab claws for hands, she resolves to help him unravel the mystery of his past …

Marina meets William while exploring the haunted pier in her seaside town. But William is not like other boys.

He’s… different – with crab claws for hands and tentacles that stretch from his head. What he needs from Marina – if she’s ready – is a friend who can help him to unravel the fishy mystery of his past…

‘Charming and delightful … a whimsical adventure story stuffed to the flippers with fish puns and fun.’
Sam Sedgman, co-author of the Adventures on Trains series

Overall Opinion Of the Book:

Ah, The Peculiar Take of the Tentacle Boy was such a beautifully written book, that felt so whimsical. It is certainly a book I would have lapped up and adored as a child, and it was a joy to read as an adult too. Pickard is such a talented writer and helps the reader to dive (pardon the pun – it had to be done), straight into the plot and the town of Merlington. His writing is fantastic, and I adored all of the fish and sea puns throughout the story.

Marina is such a fantastic character, and I loved hearing the stories she told. At the beginning of the novel I really felt for her, but thought she dealt with everything is such a mature way. It was lovely to see her challenging the outdated views of the adults in Merlington, making sure they knew that it is okay for people, like William, to be different.

What was great about this book is that it dealt with some really important issues such as fitting in, dementia, and family dynamics, but in a way that is accessible for children to understand, without the plot feeling too heavy. The important aspects of the book are woven into the plot in amongst fantastical and humorous elements.

William as a character was so endearing, and I think he has now become a firm favourite from all of the middle-grade books I’ve read. He was so lovely and understanding, even after all that he had been through. As a character, he emphasises that it’s okay to be different, and it’s important to be unapologetically yourself.

The plot itself was great, and was well paced for a child to read and enjoy. I loved all of the twists and turns, and definitely didn’t see some of them coming! There were many points where my blood was boiling over one specific character – Harold! But, without giving too much away, I’m glad he got the comeuppance he deserved.

I adored the ending of the book, and felt that everything was resolved and tied up very well. Overall, this was an endearing and lovely middle-grade book, and I can’t wait to pass this book onto my brother, who I know will love reading about William and Marina’s adventures as much as I did.

Final Thoughts:

If you are a fan of middle-grade books, or if you are looking for a fun and fast-paced book suitable for your child, then you definitely need to purchase The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy. It is beautifully written, and the plot is great. While it is a fantastical plot filled with a lot of sea and fish humour, it also deals with some important issues too.

The world building is brilliant, and the plot is fully immersive and a joy to read. This is the perfect book for children who enjoy the sea, and love books with adventure and mystery. The ending is perfect, and the characters are fantastic… apart from Harold that is!

This is definitely a book I would recommend, and it was such an honour to have the opportunity to read and review it!

If you would like to purchase this book, it is available now here:
(The book also features the most beautiful sprayed edges too!)


Waterstones – Exclusive edition

Book Depository


Don’t forget to check out everyone else’s posts and reviews of this wonderful book, on the other blog tour stops this week! 🙂

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