Friday, 24 August 2012

Mr Gum in 'The Hound of Lamonic Bibber' by Andy Stanton

The experts at Booksfc have been very, incredibly, unbelievably, jaw droppingly, mind bogglingly busy... watching TV. It takes a lot of effort, dedication and hard work watching the Olympics, 12 hours a day, for 2 weeks solid. But the good news is all that effort has been rewarded. The batteries in the remote control have finally gone flat. That must deserve a medal. One of those shiny gold ones, I think.

It needed to be a very special book to make the experts at Booksfc forget about the Olympics. Not many books were brave enough to take the challenge. But I managed to find a contender. Mr Gum in 'The Hound of Lamonic Bibber' was brave enough and definitely crazy enough.
Mr Gum in 'The Hound of Lamonic Bibber' - Bumper Book!

The Mr Gum books, for those of you who have been visiting Mars, follow the adventures of Mr Gum, a vile villain, who lives in the slightly picturesque, and very bonkers town of Lamonic Bibber. In Mr Gum in 'The Hound of Lamonic Bibber', a ferocious hound is terrorising the good folk of Lamonic Bibber, and it's up to Polly, the heroine, and the only sane voice in the whole book, to find out the truth about the mysterious hound.

Mad Scientist: 5 stars! There was a real plot in this book, with a real mystery, and real clues. What I particularly liked was that the ridiculously funny jokes served as camouflage for the clues. Clever! Like me!

Party Rocker: Also 5 stars! What I particularly liked was the extra story about how Mr Gum and Billy William the third became friends, and the very best bit was when they were talking to Ned Needles, the travelling pillow salesman, and his horse, Handsome, and Billy William 'was pulling Handsome's tail to see if it would make him lay an egg or do a fart or something'. Rude! Like me!

Mad Scientist: 5x5 stars! If there was a Olympic medal for funniness, Andy Stanton would win it. He's hilarious. Mr Gum in 'The Hound of Lamonic Bibber' is hilarious. All the Mr Gum books are hilarious. I should know. I've read them all, reread them all, reviewed them all, and rewired them too. Clever, eh? Bet you didn't even know it was possible to rewire a book. Hey! (jumping round to face Party Rocker) What are you doing?

Party Rocker: (pulling Mad Scientists trousers down) Trying to see if I can make you lay an egg or do a fart or something.

Mad Scientist: (chasing after Party Rocker) Why you little borkler...

Party Rocker: (running away) Did you know you look like a lemon meringue?

Striker: I liked it too. But I'm only going to give it 4 stars because I was a bit worried the hound was going to eat Polly, or Friday, or me. Hey! (jumping round to face Party Rocker) What are you doing?

Party Rocker: (pulling striker's trousers down) Trying to see if I can make you look very silly.

Striker: (chasing after Party Rocker and brandishing his fists) Now I'm going to have to hit you.

Flower Power: Why doesn't anyone ever ask me what I think?

Mad Scientist: Alright then, we will. What did you think of 'The Hound of Lamonic Bibber?

Flower Power: I loved it. 5 stars.

Mad Scientist: Did you actually read it?

Flower Power: No.

Time to end this book review while the experts still have a scrap of dignity left. Mr Gum in the Hound of Lamonic Bibber scores a face smashing, whiskers shabbering, Jonathon Ripples Rippling 5 stars. Way to go, Gum!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Genie in Training by Ciaran Murtagh

Every now and again a book comes along which reminds you strongly of another book! That's OK. It's called borrowing ideas. Everyone does it. The experts at Booksfc do it all the time. Especially during spelling tests.
This time the book that happened to come along was Genie in Training by Ciaran Murtagh. It's about a boy who meets a genie, the boy accidentally wishes to become a genie, and then is whisked off to Genie School to become a genie.
 Genie in Training
Mad Scientist: First of all I want to give this book 3 stars. Just like Harry Potter, Jamie is sent to a magical school where he has two firm friends, and one determined enemy. Just like Harry Potter, there is a benign, wise and powerful headmaster. Just like Harry Potter, Jamie learns to fly, but using a flying carpet not a broomstick. And just like Harry Potter, there are a variety of lessons, and a magic mirror. There was one big difference. Harry Potter is the best series of books I have ever read. This book is good, but not in the same league as Harry Potter. Secondly, and more importantly, I have been falsely accused. I have never cheated in a spelling test in my life! I don't need to. I have a photographic memory. I only need to look at something once to remember it forever.
Party Rocker: Then you'd better not go near a mirror or you'll have nightmares for the rest of your life!
Mad Scientist: (beginning to get annoyed) Again, I have been falsely accused. I have conducted a scientific experiment to check whether I am good looking or not, and the results came back...affirmative. Everyone surveyed said they liked my appearance.
Party Rocker: Aaaahh!
Striker: What's wrong?
Party Rocker: Mad Scientist just looked at me.
Mad Scientist (beginning to get seriously annoyed): I'll do more that just look at you, you little...
Party Rocker (running away): Aaaahh!
Striker: Well I thought it was really good. I really liked the bowl of never ending ice cream. I really liked all the genies who where nice to Jamie and I really didn't like the nasty genie, Dabir, who I wanted to strike. At first I was a little worried when Jamie got stuck in the Genie's World, Lampville-upon-Cloud, but then I stopped being worried and just enjoyed the story. I give it 5 stars.
Party Rocker (running past again): 4 stars.
Flower Power: Are we playing chase? Can I play?
Mad Scientist (still chasing Party Rocker): No. We're doing a book review.
Flower Power (now chasing Mad Scientist): I'm not stupid. I know you're lying.
Mad Scientist (slowing down): Aaaahh! Falsely accused again!
Flower Power (catching Mad Scientist) Got you!

So, Genie in Training scores a magical 4 stars. It might have scored more, if it had been better, and it might have scored less, if it had been worse. Can't say fairer than that, can you?

Someone (somewhere in the distance): Aaaahh!