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Terry Teo and the Gunrunners by Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne

October 30, 2015

terry teoTerry Teo and the Gunrunners by Bob Kerr and Stephen Ballantyne. Pub. Earth’s End, 2015.

First published in 1981 this classic bit of Kiwiana is back again with some small alterations but the story still the same. Terry while skateboarding down the private driveway of businessman/villain Ray Vegas comes a cropper, head through the hedge and witnesses something dodgy. Vegas sends his two clownish henchmen to capture Terry and a whole battle with gunrunners begins.

The action takes place in the small coastal town of Kaupati where the local copper keeps chickens, is socially responsible but not a lot going on upstairs. Vegas is your obnoxious rich thug who thinks he can do anything at all and the two henchmen are dumb and dumber. Plenty of appeal there.

Bob Kerr’s cartoons are terrific as always and there are lots of little in-house jokes and Kiwi things going on that are smilers when you see one.

Stephen Ballantyne’s written text is to the point and captures the whole Kiwi attitude. The highlight for me was the written dialogue of the gunrunners in an Aussie accent. Priceless.

At the back of the picture book is a section by Adrian Kinnaird on the making of Terry Teo as a NZ icon and the history of the book, TV series and film.

This book has high boy appeal for reluctant readers and is certain to win fans at primary and intermediate schools all over again.

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