Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce

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Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce

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Buy Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: This activity book is strictly for the fans, but a quite brilliant example of its type.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: January 2015
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780007569076

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This seems to be a firmly established publishing practise now – the enhanced readership experience offered to fans of a franchise by a tie-in activity book. This is yet another example – looking like a genuine entry in an on-going series, it instead offers the fan of the characters the chance to interact with them in new ways, as well as looking back through the shelves of their collection, and inwardly as well, at their own thoughts and tastes. Note I say it's for a fan – this example will alienate anyone else from the first page – but for the right audience it’s generally a good thing. And in this instance it's a very, very good thing indeed.

You're thrust right in at the beginning with a quick quiz to test your knowledge. Skipping through you'll find many of the questions answer themselves elsewhere – as in here, 'is x the drummer in Nate's band?' and there, 'a, b and c are the performers in which band?'. But you can't just skip through this book. The tasks are much too absorbing. There are some really quite complex and small-scale mazes, for one, along with crosswords and many other such quizzes. Nate being a cartoonist there are, of course, many instances of creating or recreating comic strips, and even the job of being funny while adding new speech bubbles to existing Nate yucks is not a momentary thing.

The emphasis isn't wholly on the image, however, for you also have to itemise your tastes and ideas, making lists of gross-out moments, embarrassing things, parental demands and your bucket list of parental rewards. It's all peppered with images of Nate and the gang, many of which I recognised from witnessing the 'real' Big Nate books. Such as Say Goodbye to Dork City, which proves yet again the qualities of the source franchise, and the talent the creator has in providing gags on a day-by-day, week-by-week and even longer basis.

Which brings me to my final point regarding the activities. I am not surprised there was no page where you put the Nate books in order, because it would stump me. There's this collection of them, there's that collection of them, there might be title changes made in crossing the Atlantic, and now the bleeders are putting them out in 2-in-1s with yet more new names. I do wish it were easier to be a collector of Nate, for being a fan of his witty and well-crafted life is quite naturally simple. This book suffers the most of his that I know of in being in a different language to what is spoken here in the Yookay, but it's still manna from heaven for his audience.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Dork Diaries OMG: All About Me Diary! by Rachel Renee Russell is the nearest equivalent I know of for the female half of the (spurious) audience divide.

Buy Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Big Nate: Laugh-O-Rama (Big Nate Activity Book 4) by Lincoln Peirce at Amazon.com.

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