The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams and Tony Ross

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The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams and Tony Ross

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: Dark, disturbing, disgusting and yet children will love it! Some outrageous children hide within these pages. I'm hoping my two don't get any bad ideas..!
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 272 Date: May 2017
Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780008259624

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I sometimes wonder if David Walliams gets sick of the comparisons with Roald Dahl that he gets. It's such an easy comparison to make, however, because both wrote very funny, and yet really very dark stories for children. They don't shy away from the nastiness, and ugliness in life and instead face it head on, and flip it around, and make you laugh along the way. This is a rollercoaster ride through a wide range of truly dreadful children who range from being a fussy eater, to a spoiled brat, to Harry, who never, ever did his homework! Yes, their dark deeds vary in despicableness, and along with dreadfulness galore there are fabulous illustrations, a large variety of fonts, unusual page layouts and a Royal introduction from the Queen...

For long-time Walliams fans, there is a brief appearance by Raj. There's also a delightful cameo for Tyson Trowel (Simon Cowell…) I laughed out loud when we first hear about him: He was a very vain man. Despite being at least ninety years old, Tyson had a strange orange spray-on tan, glow-in-the-dark teeth and a wig that sat atop his head like a crouching badger. This was the kind of man who wore sunglasses inside, in the dark. I particularly enjoyed Trish the Troll as it's always nice to see a bully get what's coming to them! I also enjoyed reading No no Noe and I felt it was an excellent choice for the final story of the book. The stories all felt complete in their own right, so you it's an easy to pick up and put down book. It also means you could just read one aloud for a storytime session, without needing to know anything more from the book.

I did feel a tiny bit uncomfortable in a couple of stories. When the enormously overfed baby is eating his mum, then eating cars and buses, helicopters and planes, it felt on the edge of being both completely ridiculous and rather scary! So you may want to avoid reading that one aloud with younger children. I also wasn't sure about the story where Cruel Clarissa is really very cruel to her pet cat, mainly because my worry was that this sort of cruelty was more within the realms of possibility. The cat gets revenge, and a happy ending, but even so, I felt uncomfortable with the animal cruelty. I should also note, however, that I felt real delight over the revenge that the cat takes, so perhaps that makes everything okay again?!

Mostly, though, the children are just wildly silly, delightfully naughty and they end with a comeuppance, which usually isn't anything you'd expect. The illustrations are in full colour throughout and are up to Tony Ross' usual high standard. There are pictures on almost every page, and they all help in creating character and explaining events. This extra effort in providing a huge number of illustrations pays off, I feel, as it makes this longer length book attractive to that tricky customer, the reluctant reader. It makes the stories easier to read, so they're more accessible for emerging readers who are just moving on from shorter chapter books to something a bit more meaty, and also extremely enjoyable for more confident readers who can appreciate the joy of both the words and the pictures. As a grown up, I found myself wishing that more grown up books were illustrated. There's great skill in teaming the right image with a page of words, and great pleasure in then enjoying that as a reader.

I think this has very wide-ranging appeal, since younger readers in Key Stage 1 can happily enjoy a story read out loud, and then those who are getting up and running with their reading can have a good go themselves at reading a longer book. Then confident readers will probably devour it far too quickly, and immediately go back and read it all again! Late at night, parents can sneak a peak themselves, and go to bed thankful for the knowledge that their own little fast-asleep horrors really could be much more horrible than they are, and actually they should count their blessings that they don't have a Spoiled Brad or Competitive Colin to deal with in the morning!

Further reading suggestion: There are more dreadful children to discover in The World's Worst Children by David Walliams and Tony Ross or we also enjoyed Awful Auntie by David Walliams.

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Buy The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams and Tony Ross at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams and Tony Ross at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The World's Worst Children 2 by David Walliams and Tony Ross at


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