Aliens! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts
|Aliens! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Three further exploits for the brave, yet daft and messy, hero.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: October 2015|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
For my sins I have never met Bertie before now – something that from the merits of this book I now think should have been corrected a long time ago. He's a friendly young chap, and we meet him in friendly, short episodes. Here are three of them, which I have to assume is the norm. One shows him quite gullible if well-meaning, the next has him stuck in a situation he dislikes where he still gets the upper hand, and the third is a sustained look at what happens when he starts a hole for himself with a simple, poor decision. He's a lad such as you probably have close by you, he's amiable, he's not too smart, and he's really quite likeable – even if he does apparently have a very snotty nose…
The nose isn't much in evidence here but several positive qualities are, courtesy of the pair of men running this franchise. The stories are still quite different from each other, both in construct and intent, which you shouldn't expect to be able to rely on after so many other such books. They would serve well for the youngster choosing his or her own reading and taking it away to a private book corner, but would also act fine as material to read out for goodnight treats – there aren't too many voices to adopt, for one, although the young will love it if you throw your heart into the bird-watcher's lure noise in the second tale.
The illustrations are just enough to allow us entry to this world – meeting Bertie's parents, his two best friends, and the one or two other adults as relevant. They range from UFO hunters to the aforementioned bird-watcher, and our hero's typical nemesis of a school teacher. They also put the biggest clue in the reader of the first story that something's not right – something we can see but Bertie just cannot. It's a circumstance – and bluntly finished story – that just nudges against the too-silly barrier; on the whole the book is sensibly and likeably daft. Tale three is again too abrupt to come to a sort-of close for my taste, and begs for a sequel, but as I say with simple and easy (and easily read and understood) qualities such as this book shows, more of the same is no bad thing.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
If it is silly you want, the same illustrator has given us the very successful The Bolds by Julian Clary and David Roberts.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Aliens! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon.com.
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