Jawsome: Licence to Rock by R.J. Timmis

Jawsome: Licence to Rock – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Sharks, humour, secret agents, friendship.
Children’s book title: Jawsome: Licence to Rock.
Children’s author: R.J. Timmis.
Genre: Graphic novel.
Published by: Allen & Unwin.
ISBN: 9781761181108.
Recommended for children aged: 6-10 year-olds.
First published: Paperback April 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: Those who are discouraged by books with chapter after chapter of text as each page is illustrated and suitable for all reading abilities.

Jawsome: Licence to Rock by R.J. Timmis

To see the latest price or order, click on the book cover image.

Our review:

Finley, a Reef Shark, and his friends Hunter, a Tiger Shark, Gnash, a Great White Shark, and Gilleon, a Lemon Shark all go to the same school, have sleepovers, and love chum, which, I now know, is fish or meat cut into small pieces! When lessons are over, however, they don their leather jackets and shades and become the four members of supergroup, Jawsome!

In the first of two stories, Licence to Rock, Jawsome are about to travel to the Euro-fishin’ contest when their drummer, Gnash, disappears! Following the clues leads them to an old-fashioned phone box and an adventure to save their friend and the town of Chumville from an organisation known as A.B.B.A! There are fishy jokes and a seemingly endless number of witticisms included throughout both stories with this one ending as the friends manage to save everyone and still get to the contest on time!

Jawsome: Licence to Rock by R.J. Timmis spread 1

In the second tale, Zombie Sharks Attack, Jawsome find they are no longer being treated as the superstars they consider themselves to be. There is a new group taking their fishy town by storm and no one is interested in them any longer! Once again it is up to the four friends to save the day, investigating how any group could be such an overnight sensation and take all of Jawsome’s fans away at the same time. Readers of the first book, just called Jawsome, will recognise the culprit but their identity is explained here as well.

Our verdict:

If you like fishy humour this is absolutely the book for you! Suitable for both confident and reluctant readers as well as for being read aloud, it has just enough jeopardy to hold a child’s interest without scaring them silly! The strong friendship between the four different species of shark is a given and all of them have chances to shine throughout. The wordplay includes references to popular computer games and pop stars as well as more mundane items.

As an adult, this is an incredibly quick read, with groans and smiles aplenty. For the identified age range of six to ten, this would definitely be a confidence-boosting read as well as an excellent example of how language can be used to fit any situation and make you laugh.

Jawsome: Licence to Rock by R.J. Timmis spread 2

Teaching points and book club discussion ideas:

  • Discuss how a day at school could be altered to fit a different fictional scenario, maybe using other ocean-dwelling creatures, jungle animals, or whatever a child would like to use.
  • It could also be interesting to use different cultures or climates with the same parameters but in a factual manner. By using hot, tropical locations, dry deserts, or countries where freezing temperatures are the norm, the discussion could centre around how their actual days would differ from term time in the UK.
  • The humour is brilliant with excellent examples of wordplay. The older children in this age range could discuss what makes something funny before listing the changes they spot as well as making up some of their own.
  • This is a fun, funny book, and could just as easily be read aloud as a great way to end the school day.

Many thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

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If you like Jawsome: Licence to Rock by R.J. Timmis you might also like: our reviews of How to be a Genius Kid by Waldo Pancake, Agent Harrier: This Book Will Self Destruct by Ben Sanders, Grimwood: Attack of the Stink Monster by Nadia Shireen, Stitch Head: the Graphic Novel by Guy Bass and Pete Williamson and Peng and Spanners by Steve Webb.

Browse our KS2 graphic novels booklist

About Tracy Wood

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I am a voracious reader and used to be a learning support assistant in a senior school for eight years before leaving to home school my now adult daughter. I have ten grandchildren who I love reading to and spending time with. Reviews by Tracy Wood