Image courtesy of firstnews.co.uk
Title: Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout
Author: Andy Stanton
Illustrator: David Tazzyman
What it’s about: (by Holly) It’s about a man and his name is Mr Gum and he has an evil assistant called Billy William The Third. They came across a secret hideout and they had an evil plot: to try to destroy the town of Lamonic Bibber. There are these two heroes: Polly and Friday (he really loves yoghurt) and they set up an office called The Department of Clouds and Yoghurts in the middle of the high street so they could find out why clouds are falling out of the sky.
Holly’s review: I really like this book because it is a hilarious book full of silliness. At first I thought I was not going to like it but then as I started reading more I discovered that I really like it and that is why me and mum thought it would be an excellent book to put on the website. It looks rude when you first start reading it but soon you will discover that the rudeness turns into funniness. So don’t judge the book at the beginning like I did otherwise you won’t see how good it is so why don’t you go to a book shop now !!
Sam’s review: Reading this with Holly was a pure pleasure. We bought it on Saturday and had finished it on Sunday. It was a book that Holly read to us aloud entirely – she said it was not a book that you could read in your head – it has to be read out loud. I agree – the humour is so delicious that it must be shared. I am incredibly envious of Mr Stanton’s talent and jealous of his insane creation. If there is a better fictionalised town name than Lamonic Bibber, I challenge you to let me know!
I had heard about Mr Gum before but had always assumed he was more a ‘boys’ author’. Silly I know as I don’t really like gender distinction in books. Anyway, I was talking with a good friend about books that reluctant readers might enjoy and she recommended the Mr Gum series. I picked up a copy in a charity shop and was laughing in under a minute of starting on the first page. The sheer surreal humour in the books reminds me of Spike Milligan. I took the book in to show a child I work with at school who hasn’t yet found a book that he likes. I invited him to start reading this to me and within that magic minute, the corners of his mouth started turning up, despite his best efforts, and then he forgot to protest at all, racing through the book and laughing at Polly’s rather poor grammar. The series is also good for those who struggle a little with their reading because not only is it engaging and hilarious but also the layout means that it looks like you’re reading a meaty tome when in fact only half of each page is devoted to text. With some of the children I read with at school, who struggle with reading and are aged 10 and 11, they feel embarrassed at reading ‘thin’ books as their friends tease them for being babyish. These books are cool, they look substantial and they give you a good laugh too. What else could you ask for?
Because this is a book to be shared, Holly has recorded a small snippet for your entertainment here. Enjoy!