After reading and enjoying The Boy in the Dress I was really looking forward to reading Mr Stink. I got caught up in the story really quickly, and fin...moreAfter reading and enjoying The Boy in the Dress I was really looking forward to reading Mr Stink. I got caught up in the story really quickly, and finished the book in one sitting.
The story is one big moral story about appearances being deceptive and how important it is to look more deeply at people rather than just accepting them at face value and making judgements about them. It never feels preachy or like a moral story though, this is all cleverly woven into the story. I loved the way that over the course of around 270 pages all of the key characters go on a real journey, with the exception of Raj (who should never change), they all end the book very differently to how they start it.
Chloe is a lovely main character, there were parts of her that really reminded me of me when I was 12. I loved her creativity and her focus on doing the right thing even when it was hard for her to do so. Mr Stink is a great creation though at times some of the descriptions of him or the things he did were a little on the gross side for me – I’m sure young readers will absolutely adore him. I was so pleased to see Raj featured in this book as well as The Boy in the Dress, I’m looking forward to seeing whether he appears in Walliams’ other books.(less)
Wow, I’m not entirely sure where to begin with talking about this book. I can definitely say it’s a funny, pacey read that will keep readers of all ag...moreWow, I’m not entirely sure where to begin with talking about this book. I can definitely say it’s a funny, pacey read that will keep readers of all ages engaged, but to try and describe why is going to be a challenge – I really think this is one of those books that’s best discovered by reading. That won’t however make for much of a review so I’m going to do my best to talk about why I enjoyed it so much.
The plot is twisty and turny but is basically a story of goodies, Samuel and Granny Samurai, battling baddies who come in the form of school bully Boris Hissocks and the evil Monkey King who naturally has evil minions in tow. Poor Samuel is never quite up to speed with what’s going on, Granny Samurai is a lady of relatively few words and she certainly doesn’t waste them on explaining everything to him. This works really well for the reader, you’re as in the dark as Samuel is – I found myself coming up with all sorts of theories for what might be happening.
Samuel is an interesting lead character. I found that whilst I liked him and sympathised with his frustrations at not knowing what was going on I did also wish sometimes I could give him a little shake and encourage him to stand up for himself a little more. I imagine that the target audience won’t have any such feelings towards him. Granny Samurai, probably as expected, steals the book. She’s a larger than life, mysterious figure who comes out with absolute gems of dialogue. The book as a whole made me smile, most of the times that it made me laugh it was Granny Samurai who was responsible.
The book is illustrated, every double spread has at least one small drawing, on some the picture covers both pages and the text takes up only a small portion of the space. The pictures are all in grayscale and add a lot to the reading experience. Instead of a traditional chapter format the book is structured as Samuel’s memoir which means it has lots of short sections – I think this always helps books to feel like they’re zipping along when you read them.
Throughout the book the thing that kept coming to mind was how much I’d like to read this aloud to a group – I think it would work really well for this and will be passing my copy onto a friend who’s a teacher so that she can do just this. I don’t know if there are plans for another book featuring these characters but if there is one then I will definitely read it.(less)
This is the first book in a new series, Wings & Co, aimed at young readers. I thought it was a great read, it introduces the characters...more3.5 stars.
This is the first book in a new series, Wings & Co, aimed at young readers. I thought it was a great read, it introduces the characters and the magical version of the world that the book’s set in really well. There’s enough adventure and excitement to balance out the scene setting, I think it’ll capture the imagination of most young readers. I love the illustrations included in the book, they really add to the experience. Emily is a wonderful lead character, I’ll be looking forward to reading about her adventures in the next book. A definite thumbs up from me.(less)