Grandpa’s Great Escape

GRANDPA’S GREAT ESCAPE

BY

DAVID WALLIAMS

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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 Continue reading

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Inside Charlie’s Chocolate Factory

INSIDE CHARLIE’S CHOCOLATE FACTORY 

BY LUCY MANGAN

Wonka book

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory remains one of our best-loved children’s books fifty years after its publication and this book is a glorious full colour treasure that every Charlie fan must own! Lifelong Dahl fanatic, Lucy Mangan, explores the book’s influence on readers, films, theatre, music and of course on chocolate. I loved how she calls it “a whipple-scrumptious fudgemallow delight to do” as that is exactly what it was to read. Especially on a cold, wet January duvet day!

The book opens with an exquisite foreword by Roald’s daughter Sophie Dahl. Her stories of her father feature fairies, bacon with marmalade, and the red tupperware box full of chocolate bars that would only be opened if she’d been good. Lovely memories.

“I am not overly fond of chocolate flavoured foods such as chocolate cake and chocolate ice cream. I prefer my chocolate straight.” (Roald Dahl)

Writing Charlie was initially a difficult process for Dahl, working on it during a tragic time for his family. But through early drafts and manuscripts published here we can see the enthralling storyteller and maverick emerge. Charlie has since become so popular that it has inspired everything from episodes of The Simpsons to Marilyn Manson music videos to Heston Blumenthals’ wacky food creations! It’s characters and catchphrases have permeated popular culture with spin-off merchandise including figurines, lunchboxes and those all important Wonka bars.

Wonka figurine Continue reading

The best 9 books to read with your kids

THE QUENTIN BLAKE TREASURY BY QUENTIN BLAKE

One of the best gifts The Southsea Bookworm received from Santa this Christmas was an anthology of drawings and verse from my favourite illustrator, Quentin Blake.

qb treasury

Undoubtedly best known for his artwork that accompanied Roald Dahl’s wonderful collection of children stories such as The BFG and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Blake fills every page he’s ever published with wit, wonder and joy.

This beautifully presented volume of nine books showcases his other work from his very first picture book through to his most recent short stories, poems and songs. And I can tell you that the drawings and rhymes here are an endless delight.

Here is what you’ll find included in the Treasury:qb treasury 2

  •  All Join In
  • Quentin Blake’s Nursery Rhyme Book
  • Patrick
  • Angelica Sprocket’s Pockets
  • Mister Magnolia
  • Quentin Blake’s ABC
  • Cockatoos
  • Angel Pavement
  • Mrs Armitage Queen of the Road

“All join in” and “Cockatoos” in particular made me yearn for childhood again. The witty rhymes are full of cheeky mischief and things like banana fizz and people with alligators in their pockets. His drawings as ever are stunning and hilarious – the kind of pictures you can look at for hours and suddenly see a bird hiding in the corner or a snake slithering up someone’s trouser leg. This Treasury is totally fun, very silly and enormously clever stuff.

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