Cheeky Charlie: Bugs and Bananas (My Crazy Brother Book 2) by Mat Waugh

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Cheeky Charlie: Bugs and Bananas (My Crazy Brother Book 2) by Mat Waugh

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: More tales of destruction and hilarity as Cheeky Charlie is let loose on his second set of adventures. As funny and engaging as the first time we met him!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 142 Date: May 2017
Publisher: Say So Media
External links: Author's website
ISBN: B072F58644

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Cheeky Charlie has already had one book written about him and now he has another. His slapstick adventures are related once more by his sister Harry. I love Harry. Harry is by turn infuriated and amused by her brother Charlie. And Harry also brims over with enthusiasm. This is how she explains why she writes about her brother:

But have you ever tried to write a long story? It takes ages. And I don’t get much time because I have dance club and football club and film club, and I need to play with my best friend Maryam. But in the gaps, and when Dad makes me turn the iPad off, I’ll tell you what Charlie’s been doing: and you won’t believe some of it. I’m surprised Charlie hasn’t been arrested. I would arrest him. Every day.

Harry is the kind of sister every Cheeky Charlie should have. Don't you agree? I love the dig about the iPad. Parents, take note!

This time around, there are five short stories. Our loveable rogue creates havoc on a ferry - surely the duty-free shop means everything is free, right? Nobody has to pay. It's not stealing or anything. Of course it isn't. You can get lost on a ferry, did you know that? And you can certainly come close to causing a mutiny. Charlie also causes mayhem by setting loose a collection of woodlice at the dinner table. So much for that lovely roast chicken! But at least the ladybird survives unscathed. And there are some shenanigans at an animal park which I think you should read about for yourselves.

And then, then, then... the puppy arrives. Mum's friend goes on holiday and Mum volunteers to puppy sit. The thing is, Tuppence is a big puppy. Almost as big as Charlie. And Tuppence can cause almost as much uproar as Charlie, too. Needless to say, Tuppence leads Charlie into his biggest adventure yet.

Charlie's adventures are full of slapstick and won't fail to make you laugh. This child can certainly get himself into scrapes. But it's the telling by his sister that really gives Waugh's book impact and originality. Harry is a vivid character all of her own and, while she loves her little brother and is indulgent of him, there is also some tension at play. So we see Charlie through a prism of some mild sibling rivalry and Harry isn't slow to point out when she feels that her parents allow her brother to get away with too much.

The language is accessible and the narrative flows well, making Charlie's stories equally suitable for reading aloud and for newly confident readers to attempt by themselves. The interest range is probably from Reception to Key Stage 1 - children of four to seven or eight. And even wizened old battleaxes such as this reviewer enjoyed reading the stories all by herself. There's an energy and fizziness about them that's irresistible.

By the way, if you sign up to Mat Waugh's newsletter, he'll not only keep you up-to-date with anything new happening in the world of Charlie and Harry, he'll also send you a free mini-book. Can't say fairer than that, right? You can do that here.

Other cool short story collections for younger readers include Singing for Mrs Pettigrew by Michael Morpurgo and Across the Wall by Garth Nix.

Buy Cheeky Charlie: Bugs and Bananas (My Crazy Brother Book 2) by Mat Waugh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cheeky Charlie: Bugs and Bananas (My Crazy Brother Book 2) by Mat Waugh at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Cheeky Charlie: Bugs and Bananas (My Crazy Brother Book 2) by Mat Waugh at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Cheeky Charlie: Bugs and Bananas (My Crazy Brother Book 2) by Mat Waugh at Amazon.com.


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