Peng and Spanners by Steve Webb

Peng and Spanners by Steve Webb – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Comic, action, superheroes, adventure, humour.
Children’s book title: Peng and Spanners.
Children’s authors: Steve Webb
Genre: Graphic Novel.
Published by: Faber Children’s
ISBN: 9780571372911.
Recommended for children aged: 7-10.
First published: Paperback February 2024.
This children’s book is ideal for: KS2 comic fans.

Peng and Spanners by Steve Webb

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

Our review:

One introduction montage coming right up…

Peng is a sarcastic, rule-breaking penguin. When his ninja fighting moves and desire for pizza prove too much for his parents, he’s shipped off on a ‘big adventure’ – to Boredin Boarding School.

Resentful of the dull uniform and scornful of the school motto (‘Excelsior Boredenius Eterniatar Hairyarmpitimus’) Peng soon makes friends with Spanners, a stray cat with a toolbelt and a knack for breaking the (many) school rules.

Rule 4,672: Absolutely no pretending to ride horses in the corridors.

Everyone at Boredin School is on their best behaviour in preparation for a visit from the school inspectors. A new pizza restaurant has even been built in the hope of winning the Best School Dinners Award!

Spanners convinces Peng that they need to protect the new restaurant from the inevitable pizza riot that will occur on opening day. Armed with the obligatory eye masks and new superhero names (‘Super Ninja Penguin Fantastic’ and ‘Amazing Catty Friend and Possible Sidey-kick Tremendous Spanners’) the duo discover that the entire restaurant has been stolen!

Peng and Spanners by Steve Webb poster

They have just a few days to find recover it or risk not only losing the coveted Best School Dinners Award but also any chance of free pizzas. There’s just the small matter of Cinderella the Caretaker, Gerald the giant Ninja-Bot and a minor prison-break to overcome first…

“Shouldn’t we take over the world or something?”
“No thanks. Imagine all the stress.”

Peng and Spanners is a full-colour, action-packed graphic novel. The bold layouts and large speech bubbles will appeal to reluctant readers, making this a highly accessible and fun read. Further books in the series are planned.

Peng and Spanner are a mismatched duo who share a lively line of banter amidst the madcap adventure. There is plenty of humour in the twisting of traditional superhero tropes. There’s also a host of (not-quite) Bond-worthy gadgets, the obligatory evil villain and his even more dastardly robot Botty – cue multiple bottom jokes – and even a couple of sing-along musical interludes to break the tension!

Peng and Spanners is a funny, action-packed graphic novel that will appeal to fans of the Dog Man and Bunny vs Monkey series.

Many thanks to Faber Children’s for the review copy.

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If you like Peng and Spanners by Steve Webb you might also like: our reviews of Scarygirl Film Tie-In: The Origin Story by Nathan Jurevicius, Peanut, Butter & Crackers: River Rescue by Paige Braddock, The Fantastic Electric Mash-up Machines: Obstacle Attack! by Tyler Byrd and N.S Blackman, Agent 9: Flood-a-geddon! by James Burks and The Cartoons that Saved the World by Tom Ellen.

Browse our list of graphic novels for KS2

About Melanie Dillon

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Melanie has a Master’s degree in Information and Library Management; a Post Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature focusing on the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme & LGBT YA fiction, and extensive experience working in school and public libraries. Linkedin | Reviews by Melanie Dillon