The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon

Tom Gates

Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407120690
Published: 4/4/2011

The British Wimpy Kid! This is Tom Gates’ collection of doodles, where he maps out his day via doodling and pithy (read: silly) comments on his friends, his teachers and his archnemesis, Moody Marcus.  The whole book revolves around his attempts to get tickets to see the best band in the world ever, DUDE3, with predictable results for each of his daft schemes.

Great for fans of the Wimpy Kid series, this is an easy, silly read. I really liked all the little doodles spread here, there and everywhere (especially the teacher’s BEADY EYES) and although the characters maybe aren’t always especially original each time, Tom’s constant niggling at Delia the Big Sister and the nutty grandparents who’ve obviously lost their tastebuds (cucumber juice anyone?) were pretty entertaining and more than made up for any character issues I might have had. It’s a little bit like Captain Underpants in tone, only with more reading to do which lands it firmly both in the favourites camp for reluctant readers and the parents and teachers of such readers. Unlike a lot of books for this age range though, the humour is spot on – enough to be silly, but not enough to be too childish and annoying. And yes, I’m aware of the oddity of saying some kids funny books are too childish in tone, but you know the type of humour I mean, where the words and action are so whirlwind and non-sensical that there’s no time to really settle into reading the story, if you know what I mean. They try too hard, is probably a better way of saying it. Regardless, Tom Gates didn’t have that issue, I chortled and sniggered just fine and for those interested, the ratio of cartoon doodles to writing was just dandy too. Definitely still for 9-12 readers this one.

It’s also part of a series, so you can follow the escapades of the Tom as he wheels, plots and plans his way round his school days, making sure to have plenty of caramel wafers along the way!

Good for a giggle if you want more of the Wimpy Kid or just a silly read, this surprised me how much I’d like it. It hit all the right funny buttons and thoroughly deserves its own review. Just dandy!

Edit: So successful is this series that there’s even a special Tom Gate book in this year’s World Book Day books-for-£1! Look, see!

Find the book here. Also, check out the bottom of the page there – there’s pretty nifty looking freebie resources there too, including some related to World Book Day!

For toetapping pussycats and other oddities, find Liz’s website here. There’s also a rather nifty competition here, although there’s no date so it’s probably best to email her to doublecheck.

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