Fizzy Pop takes a slantwise look at a couple of popular themes; non-compliant behaviour and the perils of sugary drinks. Lizzy McNay is a stubborn little girl whose addiction to fizzy drinks leads to an explosive complication from which she is rescued by sympathetic classmates, is reformed and becomes a fizz-powered interstellar explorer.
The children I read to enjoyed the book’s silly plot and bottom-humour, the rhyming text made for pleasant reading and the illustrations reflect the light-hearted nature of the story, but in other respects the book misses its mark. The themes are confused: so at the beginning of the book when Lizzy’s dad exhorts her to go places and see things, is it her sloth we’re supposed to notice (‘turn off that screen’) or her addiction to fizzy drinks? And if the message is to lay off sugary drinks, the argument is hardly made by putting farts as a major consequence of over-indulgence (neither is it accurate: fizzy drinks make you burp, not fart, as Roald Dahl pointed out years ago).
Some of the rhymes are tired (‘the teacher, Miss Bunn’...’a cross-country run’) and while it’s nice to be reminded that it’s never too late to reform, we reach the end of the book believing that Lizzy hasn’t really earned her good fortune.
A light-hearted read that could hit its targets better.