Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Cried Fish by A. F. Harrold

The Lovereading4Kids comment

More adventures with Fizzlebert Stump. Can Fizzlebert solve the mystery of the missing sea lion, avoid an over-enthusiastic crocodile, and find his friend?


Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Cried Fish by A. F. Harrold

Fizzlebert Stump lives in a circus. His mum's a clown, his best friend is a bearded boy, and he sticks his head in a lion's mouth every night. Other than that, he's pretty normal. When Fish the sea lion goes missing Fizzlebert tracks down the runaway beast to the Aquarium, with its piratical owner Admiral Spratt-Haddock, invisible octopus, and colour-coded fish. But the Aquarium has problems of its own. Fish (not Fish the sea lion, fish. Keep up.) are going missing, and the Admiral blames the circus.


Review of Fizzlebert Stump: the Boy Who Ran Away From the Circus (and joined the library

I enjoyed this book because it has so many unexpected twists that you never quite know what is going to happen next. Also, there are many ingenious characters who made me laugh. My favourite was the toad-like librarian. -- Lucy Minton, age 9 Lovereading4kids

This story really will draw you in. It is one of my favourite books that I have ever read and I have read a lot of books! -- Adam Graham age 9 Lovereading4kids

Review of Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy.

This fantastic book will blow your mind with their mysterious people and amazing tricks. When I put it down I almost cried because I just wanted to read more of this wonderful book. -- Lennon Kerrigan-Gee, age 10 Lovereading4kids

The author keeps the reader gripped by the way he ends each chapter, making you want to read on to find out what happens next. Even my mum enjoyed this book and I had to keep telling her what was happening to Fizzlebert and his friends. -- Freya Hudson, age 10 Lovereading4kids

About the Author

A. F. Harrold

A.F. Harrold is an English poet (1975-present). He writes and performs for adults and children, in cabaret and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors. He was Glastonbury Festival Website's Poet-In-Residence in 2008, and Poet-In-Residence at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2010. He won the Cheltenham All Stars Slam Championship in 2007 and has had his work on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and BBC7. He is active in schools work, running workshops and slams and doing performances at ungodly hours of the morning, and has published several collections of poetry. He is the owner of many books, a handful of hats, a few good ideas and one beard. He spends his time showing off on stage, writing poems and books, and stroking his beard (it helps churn the ideas). He is the author of the Fizzlebert Stump series and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal longlisted The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett. The Imaginary is the winner of the 7-11 category of the UKLA Awards. A.F Harrold lives in Reading with a stand-up comedian and two cats.

A Q&A with the author

1. What are your 5 favourite books, and why?

Again, no favourites, per se, but at various times in my life the following five have been important to me: Barbara Firth (the greatest illustrator of bears in children’s books full stop, no argument); J.R.R. Tolkien (for, almost accidentally, allowing us a glimpse into his lifelong private world-building exercise); Norman MacCaig (one of the great poets of nature and time and thought – never fussy and complex, but always sharp, charming and short); Iris Murdoch (for her ungainly, unlikely, unworldly novels of love and philosophy; Jill Bennett (I have a print of her drawing of the BFG (from Danny Champion of the World) on the wall by my desk, which is so many times more mysterious and fascinating than Blake’s BFG that became the standard).

Let’s plump for The Hobbit. It was a book that certainly hooked my imagination and tangled me up in its world. I went to sleep listening to the tapes of it.

How about the boy in The Witches simply for what he does and what he goes through and how he ends up. There’s pluck for you.

I have a soft spot for both Mr Gum and Mr Twit. Every villain needs a good beard, surely?

I’d like to think I could be Professor Calculus, but I’d probably discover I was Thompson or Thomson.

7. If you could recommend just one book for everyone to read what would it be?

My inability to think of anything else to do. To make poems was the only thing that felt right. Every now and then one of them isn’t terrible. And now stories seem to happen as well.

The Imaginary came about because of two thoughts that occurred around the same time. One was the image of an imaginary boy stood by the side of the road after an accident. He was on his own for the first time. He was beginning to fade. The other was a thought of a canteen, a greasy spoon sort of place, full of big blokes with ‘I love Mum’ tattoos and mugs of builder’s tea and cigarettes on the go. A foreman type walks in with a clipboard and says, ‘Little Billy Jones needs a friend …’ and one of the hairy Neanderthal-ish chaps gets up and says, ‘Okay boss,’ and goes out the door, squeezing himself into whatever shape Billy Jones wants his imaginary friend to be. So, an agency for imaginary friends. Neither of the those images/pictures/thoughts makes it unchanged into the book, but they were the initial spurs.

I began writing poetry seriously (and awfully) as a teenager, but I’d had a typewriter as a kid and banged away on it, though I’ve no idea and no memory of what I was writing.

Just keep on with it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. And read lots.

Photo credit: Naomi Woddis

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


288 pages
Interest Age: from 7 to 9


A. F. Harrold
More books by A. F. Harrold

Author's Website


Bloomsbury Childrens an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

13th February 2014




It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

Love “Lovereading4kids” as my son gets to hear about & read new books before his mates which keeps him interested in reading=a very happy Mum

Liz Evans

I love Lovereading4kids because I get an opportunity to put my opinion forward and to try new books

Elosie Clarkson – age 11

I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

Writing reviews help the children with their literacy skills and we always read the books together which gives us good quality family time!

Cat Bisland (on behalf of the Bi

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

Lovereading 4 schools