Review: You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!

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Title: You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!

Author: Andy Stanton

Illustrator: David Tazzyman

What it’s about: This first book of the popular Mr Gum series introduces us to the miserable and evil man Mr Gum, who’s always, with his disgusting butcher friend, trying to destroy the town of Lamonic Bibber through wicked and, frankly quite bizarre, methods. Unfortunately for him, brave young heroine, Polly, and her assortment of allies, are always there to fight against him. In this book, Mr Gum is out to get the popular village dog Jake… but will he succeed? As Friday O’Leary, Polly’s sidekick shouts, ‘The truth is a lemon meringue!’

Holly’s review: When I was younger, I never wanted to read the Mr Gum books because I thought they would be just rubbish. All the boys liked reading them so I thought I definitely wouldn’t like them if they did. But then a girl in my class told me to read them. Since then I have really liked them. This book of Mr Gum is the first book of the series and I liked it because it’s funny because there’s this evil guy Mr Gum who keeps his garden really tidy. Do you want to know why? If yes, then read this book because I am not telling you.

Sam’s review: Ah, Holly has decided to be cryptic and teasing in her review, so I guess I had better not let the cat out of the bag and say anything that alludes to what happens. I’d probably not be very popular with you anyway if I included a spoiler. But I will say that we’re racing through the Mr Gum books here and are all enjoying them. They are definitely literature to be read aloud, so everyone can have a laugh and it’s fun to have an attempt at all the characters’ accents, even if I embarrass Holly and she has to roll her eyes in frustration at my sometimes American, sometimes Devonian rendition of Polly. And my Friday O’Leary … well, I aim for Irish but Liverpudlian gets in there too. We’ve read the Mr Gum books out of order but that hasn’t made much of a difference to our enjoyment or understanding. I think the books are hilarious and am glad Holly has overcome her refusal to read them on the basis that they’re ‘boys’ books’.



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