Marv and the Pool of Peril by Alex Falase-Koya & Paula Bowles

Marv – Perfect Early Chapter Books

Marv and the Pool of Peril book front cover

Oxford University Press are one of my go to publishers for early chapter books. We’ve previously enjoyed the Mirabelle, Isadora and Kitty books. This is our first Marv book that we’ve read.

If you’re interested in learning more about early chapter books then head to this blog post – Reading Chapter Books – What to Read after Picture Books?

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Marvin Books

As with all the series I’ve mentioned already you don’t have to read them in order and the writers are very skilled in encapsulating the key information you need about the characters very succinctly. Marvin (the main character) is actually – a SUPERHERO called Marv with a trusty side-kick called Pixel.

At the beginning of each of the Marv books the author Alex Falase-Koya tells you a little bit about why he came to write the Marv stories and what made him write that particular book. I always love details like this that let children in to the thought process of a writer. Here are the pages from Marv and the Dino Attack.

The Pool of Peril Review

Marvin and the Pool of Peril (what a brilliant title) sees Marvin invited to his best friend Joe’s pool party at a giant water park. Only one problem, Marvin is terrified of the water and it fills him with panic! When Joe is in danger will Marvin be able to find the strength and courage to overcome his fear?

Marv and the Pool of Peril Review

We loved our first toe dip into the world of Marv. They’re such great books to develop emotional literacy in children.

They very much encourage the use of language to explain common feelings children may have. There’s also positive ideas on what to do when facing, in this case fears.

I particularly liked that Marv shared with his best friend Joe how he was feeling towards the end of the book. If you’re looking for great books about feelings for primary aged children I highly recommend the Tom Percival Big Bright Feelings series.

Books to support emotional literacy. The Tom Percival Big Bright Feelings are favourites of ours.

Image from Marv and the Dino Attack

Lots of the early chapter books we’ve come across have seemed to appeal more frequently to girls – especially in the colours used. The Marv books have universal appeal and it’s great to see a diverse main character too! The text is well spaced and of good size. The writing isn’t obstructed by illustrations.

We love Marv and they are a top recommendation from us. My daughter started reading these when she was around five and I would say they are perfect for children who are becoming more independent in reading and building their reading stamina. They’d also be great books to share together.

2023 New Releases

We’ll certainly be seeking out further Marv titles and eagerly awaiting the next releases in 2023. Here’s what the publisher OUP has to say about the upcoming titles.

Marv and the Blizzard Zone

In this story, Marvin and his friends are ice skating at the Blizzard Zone when supervillain Master Blaster takes control of the rink, determined that everyone stops their fun to watch him skate. Soon, skaters are being frozen solid by the supervillain’s powerful ice blasts.

It’s time for Marvin to swap his skates for his superhero suit and become MARV-unstoppable, invincible, and totally MARVellous! Only then can Marv put an end to Master Blaster’s showing off.

Marv and the Killer Plants

In this story, Marvin and his school friends are tending to the school garden when supervillain Violet Vine appears and uses her powers to make the plants grow out of control. Before long, the garden and school are covered in snaking vines, and kid-eating Venus flytraps!

It’s time for Marvin to swap his gardening gloves for his superhero suit and become MARV-unstoppable, invincible, and totally MARVellous! Only then can Marv get the garden, and Violet Vine, under control.

Marv and the Blizzard Zone arrives in February and in July 2023 we see Marv and the Killer Plants hit the shelves. We can’t wait!

Thanks to OUP for kindly sending this title for review.

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