Friday, 30 November 2012

ReadItDaddy's Book of the Week Part 2: Charlotte's Choice - "My Big Shouting Day" by Rebecca Patterson (Jonathan Cape Ltd)

So here's Part 2 of our double 'Book of the Week' nomination for this week, and it's a book that had both Charlotte and I laughing out loud (and shouting out loud) at how utterly well observed the little girl is in this book.

Bella is not happy. Bella is having a big shouting day which kicked off when her absolutely adorable little brother, Bob, came into Bella's room and started licking her jewellery (don't you just HATE it when that happens?)

Bella's day goes from bad to worse. Every little thing sets her off, from a yucky breakfast to a prim and proper play-date going horribly horribly wrong.

Charlotte and I made poor Mummy's ears hurt because it's impossible to read Bella's dialogue without shouting (though we did try not to shout too loudly). Charlotte fell hopelessly in love with Bob ("Because he's SO cute!") and as the story progressed she loved seeing Bella's meltdown turn into a full on dizzy shouty tired ranty temper tantrum (funnily enough, I rather enjoyed Rebecca's absolutely pin-sharp toddler meltdown observations, which are spot on and then some!)

As you can imagine, nothing will cheer up this fiery little minx. A trip to the supermarket just makes matters worse, school ballet turns into a sulk-a-thon and every time poor little Bob (bless 'im) tries to help, Bella just explodes like a landmine in a little red dress.

It's incredibly easy to see why this was the Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner this year. It's brilliant for both children and parents. You will have to read the book yourself right to the end to find out how Bella's Big Shouting Day ends, but we urge you to seek out this and Rebecca's other brilliant books, they're uproariously funny from start to finish.

Charlotte's best bit: What Bella does to Bob later on in the book. The horrors, the horrors!

Daddy's favourite bit: The fact that this book so gleefully captures (and almost celebrates) the stunning spectacle of a toddler meltdown so utterly perfectly. I love the fact that for most of the book, Bella's expression is like a big black hole with a pair of eyes and typically scruffy toddler hair slapped on top of it. Brilliant, brilliant (and let's shout the last one) BRILLIANT!

(Kindly supplied to us for review by Jonathan Cape PB Ltd)