Friday 14 September 2012

Our Book of the Week - "Farmer Clegg's Night Out" by Peter Bently and Jim Field (Macmillan Children's Books)

We are in severe danger of becoming Peter Bently's unofficial fan club here at ReadItDaddy. We love his books and in particular, one of the weirdest and most bizarre children's books ever written - "The Great Dog Bottom Swap" which you should go and hunt down NOW!

In "Farmer Clegg's Night Out" Peter Bently and Jim Field take a wry look at what might happen if The X-Factor got spliced together with Animal Farm.

One night while Farmer Clegg is safely tucked up in bed after a hard day's work, the farm animals get together for a huge talent show, under the ever-watchful eye of a rather surly judge called 'Simon' (now where have I heard that before?). Everyone gives it their all. The pig mariachi band dazzle, the moonwalking breakdancing horse pulls some fancy moves but the star of the show is a huge surprise. Who crashes in on the contest and steals the limelight? None other than Farmer Clegg himself!

This is one of the funniest children's books we've read in ages. Even if you're a cynical old telly dodger like me, you can't fail to miss the references to TV talent shows in here and the rather wry and hilarious way Bently spins this into an animal caper full of chaos and giggles. Once again Charlotte had a great time picking out animal characters she'd like to be, and once again Bently's storytelling underpinned by Jim Field's absolutely brilliant comical panels make this a complete winner.

You're through to the final, kiddo! Book of the Week!

Charlotte's best bit: I'm slightly worried that she knew exactly who the singing sheep twins were supposed to be. We are now scouring the house to ensure there are no traces of Jedward fan material anywhere!

Daddy's favourite bit: Such a neat idea, I'm really surprised no one's done this before but it's been done expertly with a truckload of humour and charm. Brilliant!