Grandpa’s Great Escape




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I turn 36 years old tomorrow but I’m still watching the new episodes of Danger Mouse and I still enjoying reading brilliant children’s literature like this latest from bestselling author and comedy hero, David Walliams.

Many readers are of the opinion that Walliams is the natural successor to Roald Dahl, and I couldn’t agree more. Neither of them talk down to their young readers, instead whisking them along for exciting, perilous adventures and fairytale capers of love and friendship and of course, great dollops of horrid, hairy, farty things.

Dahl is responsible for the bookworm I am today. As a child his stories were eye-popping! They made me go “ooh” and “wow,” “eeeuuuuww” and “ARRRGHHH” in equal measure. Walliams possesses that same talent. I have read all seven of the Little Britain actor’s previous children’s novels and loved them all but this might be my favourite yet.

This is a story of a young boy called Jack whose Grandpa has become confused in his old age. He believes he is back in World War II saving the skies as an RAF Spitfire pilot. Only Jack understands him and sets out to rescue him from a fate worse than life at the cruel and crooked old people’s home ‘Twilight Towers.’ Their escape is magical and daft and their one last adventure going “up, up and away” is the stuff of most kids’ dreams.

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This is such a funny story wonderfully illustrated by Horrid Henry artist Tony Ross’ Quentin Blake-esque drawings of hairy nurses with “love and hate” knuckle tattoos and of Grandpa clambering out of the Spitfire at the Imperial War Museum. It’s also touching, dealing with the plight of today’s elderly and with a little boy’s grief for his most-loved relative.

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It’s witty and gross and packed with laughs and gasps. If you want your kids to love books, read them this, there is no better place to start. Hopefully, these novels will then live on in their hearts as Dahl’s The BFG and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory have in the hearts of my generation.


Notes on the author – David Walliams:

  • British actor and comedian
  • Writer of seven best selling children’s novels – over 7m copies sold in the UK alone
  • His own grandfather was an RAF pilot (lovely photos included at the back of this book)

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