Pizza Cake by Morris Gleitzman
|Pizza Cake by Morris Gleitzman
|Category: Confident Readers
|Reviewer: John Lloyd
|Summary: A great, warm and witty spread of tall tales for the short people amongst you.
|Date: June 2012
Once again the book reviewing gods appear to have it wrong. Not allowing me time to read Morris Gleitzman's too-good-for-mere-kids Once, Then and Now trilogy, instead comes a new collection of his short tales. And once again with his invention, exuberance and humour, he - and they - have served me right.
We open with a classroom-friendly fantasy of aspiration in a world where teachers are hyper-rich celebrities, transferring between schools just as footballers do. We remain primary school-aged for a young cricketer learning bravery comes from within, and with children with unfortunate names finding friendship and unity over what sounds a horrid meal. And we think we know where we are - funny, warming tales designed to instill good values and shut kids up for twenty minutes. But lo, here is a girl who lives under the thumb of her parents being silly, but who ends up not by putting egg on their faces, but by besting them.
Even adults can't predict all these tales, however brief, so what hope the target audience? Just read the final virtuoso piece if you want proof.
Yes, there are worthy aspects, but they're baby, excusable ones - put-upon people being Muslims, random mentions of book groups and libraries. But the charm for the adult is not being at all clear as to what comes first here - is it the circumstance, or the aspect of life the tales are to convey - acceptance, jealousy, or so on? Either way, what leaves these pages first and foremost for the reader, whether we're in the world of embarrassing parents or a Twilight-obsessed one with damaging consequences for a young boy's imagination, is entertainment, pure and simple. These stories are a delight, and are spot-on for the target audience and their teachers and carers to shut them up with - sorry, share with.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
For more short stories for a slightly older audience, but in a delicious, last-a-lifetime gift book format, we liked The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pizza Cake by Morris Gleitzman at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pizza Cake by Morris Gleitzman at Amazon.com.
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