The Tickle Ghost by Brett McKee and David McKee

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The Tickle Ghost by Brett McKee and David McKee

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A fun and simple tale of a dad tickling his son. There's a great opening poem and David McKee's usual wonderful illustrations, but the story itself lacks a spark to make it a must-read. It's still worth a look.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2011
Publisher: Andersen
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1849392464

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It's Dylan's bedtime, but the Tickle Ghost (very possibly his dad with a sheet) is out to get him. Cue plenty of giggles and not very much going to bed. Dylan's mum shouts upstairs for them to be quieter, but when the noise continues, she heads up to sort them out. ...Will the Tickle Ghost get her too?

The Tickle Ghost opens with a poem, explaining just how the Tickle Ghost is out to get you. With its repeated line of Here he comes, TICKLE! TICKLE! TICKLE! it's ideal for reading with children, interrupting each stanza with a burst of tickling. It's a fun poem, with a good flow to it and bubbly use of language - I'd be particularly keen to read a whole book of poetry from Brett McKee. Unfortunately, the story itself doesn't quite live up to the poem. Its pared-down simplicity has a place, but a couple of brief moments aside, it never really inspires. If you were learning to read, it'd be the sort of text that proves very useful in the earliest days, but that you're happy to move on from to more engaging stories. As a book for sharing with little ones, there's just never really enough to get your teeth into.

Brett's father David provides the illustrations, and they're in the wonderful style that makes the Elmer books as well as Mr Benn such well-loved favourites. They do exactly what the text tries to do: they have a simplicity that makes them accessible to all, yet with plenty of amusing touches that extends the life of the story beyond just a read or two.

There's nothing particularly bad about The Tickle Ghost, but it never quite achieves the potential of the great poem that it opens with. It will appeal to very young children moving into their very first story books, but it probably won't become a long-term favourite. It'll also strike a chord with families that do a lot of tickling. Have a flick through and see if it'll appeal to you.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

For other stories based around bedtime, take a look at Best Bedtime Stories Ever by Richard Scarry. If it's ghosts you want, check out The Christmas Eve Ghost by Shirley Hughes, What's In The Witch's Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt and George and Ghost by Catriona Hoy and Cassia Thomas. You might also enjoy Monsters Don't Cry! by Brett McKee and Ella Burfoot.

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Buy The Tickle Ghost by Brett McKee and David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Tickle Ghost by Brett McKee and David McKee at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Tickle Ghost by Brett McKee and David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Tickle Ghost by Brett McKee and David McKee at Amazon.com.

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