Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Tilly Turner Champion Gurner by Alison Maloney and Joelle Dreidemy (Meadowside Children's Books)

Tilly Turner, Champion Gurner

Written by Alison Maloney

Illustrated by Joelle Dreidemy

Published by Meadowside Children's Books

Oh the fun we had with this book! Every child (and probably every parent) knows that if you insist on making silly faces ("Gurning" as we weird UK folk like to call it), one day the wind will change and you'll stay like it.

This is the sage advice that one Tilly Turner ignores when her mum tells her to stop being daft and contorting her face into ridiculous gargoyle-esque shapes. Her teacher also warns her against her facial gymnastics, as do her friends. One fateful day young Tilly is gurning fit to bust when the weathercock slowly spins, the wind changes direction and lo and behold, she's trapped behind the face of a hag. Her beautiful features corkscrew into a foetid beastly scramble of hideousness. What on earth is Tilly to do?

I grew up loving a comic strip in Buster Comic (remember that?) called Faceache. A kid had a superpower of being able to mould his face into hideous grotesque visages. Drawn by the absolute master of horror fun comics, Ken Reid, this story really reminded me of the sort of crazed expressions the boy in that story could produce.

You'll have to read "Tilly Turner" yourself to find out if she ever got her beautiful face back. A fun and fantastic book that is surely due a reprint?

Charlotte's best bit: Tilly's first day at school when she realises she can't change back! Owch!

Daddy's Favourite bit: We had a lot of fun reading this, and of course gurning ourselves (though we made sure we checked the wind direction before each gurn!)