AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field

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AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Tony Taylor
Reviewed by Tony Taylor
Summary: There is only way to truly understand animals – to become one. Wild and brilliantly funny, this will have children laughing out loud and pondering the merits of being an animal. Great fun and easy to read.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 368 Date: September 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0008185145

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Malcolm’s family likes animals. No, it’s more than that, in fact, everyone in his family adores every kind of animal. Malcolm has a whole menagerie of animals living in his house to the utter delight of his parents and his social-media frenzied teenage sister. They love it when they walk them, cuddle them, feed them and watch them sleep. The problem is Malcolm doesn't get it. He doesn't necessarily hate the animals; he just doesn't understand their attraction. As he lives in an animal-loving house, he feels somewhat of an outcast - he doesn't quite fit in and belong. That's all OK though because Malcolm is off on his Year 6 residential trip. Away from his family and a break from the animals. In his excited-haste he didn't quite take enough notice of the location for his three days of freedom – Orwell Farm. During his time away from home Malcolm quickly learns a lot more intimate details about the animals than he could have ever imagined and begins to respect each one in their own unique way.

Have you ever wondered what animals are saying to each other? Can they speak each other's language? Now there is an interesting thought. Does a tortoise speak pigeon? Can a cat understand a pig? Great questions to ponder over when you are 9. Malcolm has this opportunity to explore the lives of animals in the most amazing and personal way. Does a cat have to learn to be so nimble and quick or is it just the very nature of being a cat? What exactly is a cockerel saying early in the morning? So many questions! Through Malcolm's adventures we are taken on a madcap journey and see the world through the eyes, and body, of a whole collection of animals.

This is a fantastic story for children 9+. It is funny, silly and actually gives quite an insight into seeing life from different perspectives. The language is pitched brilliantly for the targeted reading age - words are not too hard and confusing, nor are there any overly long descriptions. The action moves quickly and doesn't let up for the entire story. This is quite a meaty book to hold so there will be a sense of achievement in completing this book, however it's incredibly manageable for an average/confident reader. As a primary school teacher, I can see this book having a strong appeal right across my class. Boys and girls will both enjoy the humour and will thrive on Malcolm’s plight. The book has many wonderful illustrations, by the fantastic Jim Field, which have their own sense of fun to them and will definitely sprinkle added enjoyment on the story.

AniMalcolm is the third children's book by comedian David Baddiel. His previous book, The Parent Agency, won the Best Laugh Out Loud award at the LOLLIES earlier this year and I can easily see this book competing for future awards. There is an ease to reading this story and the jokes are completely natural to the flow of the narrative. On many pages, short footnotes are provided. These gives further witty pieces of information or short anecdotes for added detail.

As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and can see it easily being a popular choice for children and could even provide some interesting discussion points. For further reading I would suggest the award winning: The Parent Agency by David Baddiel. Many thanks to the publishers for sending a review copy to The Bookbag.

Buy AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy AniMalcolm by David Baddiel and Jim Field at Amazon.com.


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