Friday, 5 July 2013

Yucky Mucky Manners by Sam Lloyd (Orchard Books)

Remember our mysterious tweet about "The Dark Alternate Universe version of 64 Zoo Lane?" Well this was the book we were talking about, and I'm really in two minds about it.

Charlotte loves it though, because - well let's face it, you can never ever get enough rudeness, farting and burping in books when you're of a certain age.

Sam Lloyd is brilliant, no doubt about it. The genius behind one of our favourite moggy characters in books, the awesome (and slightly grumpy) Mr Pusskins, Sam's books are rib-ticklingly funny, full of bold and colourful illustrations and great read-aloud books.

But this one? Hmm. I think I'm all 'ruded' out, perhaps it's because it's become such a common thing to see bare bums, farts and burps used as comic punctuation in kid's books. Though there is a moral message about manners here and if there's one thing kids can never learn enough of, it's how to behave themselves.

So we meet a Gorilla who, like half of Charlotte's Classmates, spends his entire life with one finger jammed up his nose fishing around for a tasty snack. A parrot who can't stop talking (though is eventually stopped in a fantastic moment of karma), a sneezing flamingo who never covers her nose or mouth (ew!) and...oh my, the less said about the Giraffe the better. You never saw Georgina doing THAT on 64 Zoo Lane (sorry to keep mentioning An Vrombaut's brilliant books but look at the back cover of this. Do those animals look a little familiar to you?)

Of course I'm being a stuffy fuddy duddy, and any book that makes a child laugh should be treasured, and this made Charlotte laugh a lot for all the right reasons (and quite a lot of the wrong ones too). Will it teach your child better manners? You'd hope so, but if it makes them giggle like gibbons, all the better too.

Charlotte's best bit: The shocking Giraffe.

Daddy's favourite bit: A moral tale that reminds us of the key things of importance when meeting animals. Don't get too close to the business end!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Orchard Books)