Book Review: Smash It Butterfingers! by Khyrunnisa A
Khyrunnisa A is an Indian children’s fiction author, speaker, academic and columnist and creator of the comic book character ‘Butterfingers’ that first appeared in Tinkle, a popular Indian children’s magazine. Amar Kishen of VIII A, better known as “Butter” or “Butterfingers”, is the central character of each story.
Meeting the author in person
I came across this series when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I was part of a children’s library, Schookutti in Vellayambalam, Kerala, where they used to organise workshops and activities regularly. Mrs Khyrunnisa visited our library in 2016 to promote her book, “Misadventures of Butterfingers”, published that year. It was a collection of short stories, and she engaged us by reading a few lines from those and making us curious to know more. We all got an autographed copy of the book, and that’s when I fell in love with “Butterfingers”.
The central theme & character
Smash It Butterfingers” by Khyrunnisa A is the seventh book in the Butterfingers series. As the name suggests, Amar is always clumsy with his hands and sloppy with his feet. Amar is always in the game to try new things out and is a jolly company for his friends at GreenPark School. This has made Amar my favourite character in this series.
He often comes up with brilliant ideas that will be of good intentions, but his “Buttery” actions land him in trouble. Sports is the central theme in most of the stories, and in this book, it’s all about badminton.
Introduction to “Butterfingers”
Mr Shyam, the class teacher of VIII A, feels that all the crackpots; Thomas, the question box; O.Arjun, the music freak and absent-minded; and Amar, who was famous for creating trouble, have been put into his class for driving him crazy.
Kiran, Amar’s short and plump friend, believes that he is designed to catch whatever his tall friend drops. Even the only girls in GreenPark School, Reshmi and Minu from VIII A, are now gradually turning into tomboys.
The first two books of this series, “Howzzat Butterfingers” and “Goal Butterfingers”, have cricket and football as main themes, respectively. Amar’s wild and bizarre ideas, along with his slip-grip methods and clumsy antics, land him into trouble again. His parents are used to the regular acrobatic shows at the breakfast table, and it’s amusing to share the mischief and adventures.
Why read “Smash It Butterfingers”
Have you ever got indications of something big that’s going to happen in your life? It has indeed happened with Amar. Dreaming of P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, tripping over his dad’s brand new badminton racket, and more such omens have created the zest in Amar to play badminton. While Amar injured himself with a possible fracture, the principal of Green Park School was struggling to handle the situation.
The school had misused some funds provided for buying books by investing in new lab equipment, and now the authorities that allocated the fund were coming for an inspection. While Mr Jagmohan, the principal of GreenPark school, was worrying about how to extricate himself and the school from this difficult situation, something happened, which was indeed a miracle.
It occurred in the form of an email from an eccentric millionaire, Brijesh K. Singh, who loved badminton and hated superstitions. He wanted to hold a badminton tournament between two schools listed no. 13 in the directory of two adjoining cities on Friday the 13th. It was specifically for 13-year-old students, which included Amar & co. of VIII-A. Mr Brijesh wanted to get rid of superstitions by convincing people that there is no such thing as being lucky or unlucky; and that everything happens for a reason.
The school was more than overjoyed to get such an opportunity; the students were eager to play, while the principal was much relieved to wriggle out from the inspection by winning the cash prize, using which he planned to purchase books for the school library. Will Amar be able to play the match with a broken arm? Whom will they play against? Will the match finally take place, or the school’s black cat Ozymandias would prove to be a bad omen? Amidst this excitement, the boys even help solve some scams in the city hospital!
It is a complete adventure ride packed with heaps of action, an extremely energetic badminton match and ends with a live concert by Heebe Jeebes, the all-time favourite rock band of the boys. The mystery behind the K in Mr Brijesh’s name is one of the best parts of the story!
If you’re into sports and would like to be part of solving a few fun-filled mysteries, this is a book for you.
Contributor: Nithya AS
About our Writing Program Student
Nithya is a grade 10 student studying at Greenvalley International School, Trivandrum, Kerala. She loves reading, painting, gardening and is also a Kalaripayattu practitioner. Besides, she enjoys spending time with nature and is always keen to contribute something to the environment.