Katie: The Revolting Baby by Mary Hooper

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Katie: The Revolting Baby by Mary Hooper

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: A lightly humorous quick read involving a confident tween, a baby and a log. Not un-recommended for children reading confidently on their own (probably mostly girls), from about 6 to 8 years old.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 96 Date: May 2008
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 978-0747586135

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Mary Hooper writes very popular (and topical) contemporary teenage fiction for girls as well as historical entertainments for the same readership. The "revolting" Katie books are an offering for a decidedly younger but still female audience, the newly confident readers, probably aged around 6 to 8.

When Katie decides to look after her baby niece while her Mum attends a family emergency and baby's mum (and Katie's sister) is on holiday, she doesn't really realise what she bargained for. Scrambled egg, newspaper ink, boot polish, golden syrup (a whole tinful of) and a newly discovered affection for a wooden log don't make things easier. Throw in a photography session to attend in the afternoon and baby Emily's other granny, the insufferable Mrs Bayleaf of After Six Continental and Cruise Wear who pops in to deliver a ghastly bow-and-lace outfit for the photo, and Katie (and her best friend Flicka) are at their wits' ends.

I laughed loud while reading Katie: the Revolting Baby and my seven year old also claimed that the book was funny. There is a lot of genuine (if very easy) comical mileage in babies crawling through coal scuttles and diving into tins of syrup: anybody with a mobile baby or a toddler in the house (including older siblings) will be able to appreciate the very realistic basis for the humour.

The juxtaposition of happily scruffy Katie in her third best (and one of the grubbiest) tracksuits and everybody else seemingly bent on things being tidy, clean and girly adds more laughs, and Katie's narrative is rather amusing.

And that's about it: as entertaining as Katie is, the easy laughs somehow exhaust this tale's potential, and I also suspect that at least some of the laughs will go very high above the intended audience of the book: I doubt any 7 or even 9 year old will find "After Six Continental and Cruise Wear" even half as funny as an adult might. I suppose this is the danger of having a teen (or even a tween) narrator of a book for significantly younger children.

Still, Katie: the Revolting Baby is a quick and easy, jolly romp, and at less than 100 pages with quite a few line drawings supporting and breaking up the text, will entertain and help develop the reading skills of girls newly confident in their reading.

Not un-recommended for girls who have just mastered reading confidently on their own, and better than Rainbow Fairies. Half a star extra especially for Loggy.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this type of a book appeals, you'll like Ruby Rogers books.

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Buy Katie: The Revolting Baby by Mary Hooper at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Katie: The Revolting Baby by Mary Hooper at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Katie: The Revolting Baby by Mary Hooper at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Katie: The Revolting Baby by Mary Hooper at Amazon.com.


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