Fame! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts
|Fame! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Three more fun and breezy tales for the emerging or reluctant reader, in an increasingly assuring series.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: March 2016|
|Publisher: Stripes Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
Book eleventy-thump in this series, and there is still no let-up in the situations that Dirty Bertie can be clumsy in, have a naughty approach about, or be accident-prone throughout. And while these three short stories may not be everyday circumstances, they have a universal recognition for the very young target audience – probably the seven-to-tens. So we have Bertie successfully apply for a part in a TV presentation – only to find it crosses a line; we see him get taken fishing, only for him to be bored and therefore naughty (and therefore successful, of course); and we have him and his friends trying to play as Robin Hood, only to find the sharing-out bit that normally follows the robbing just that bit too hard…
These books won't change the world in a major way, but you know what, they might just do it in small increments. The fact there are so many will mean that if a library has got only a few of them the reluctant, or young, or both, reader will see at least one or two on the shelf and feel assured there is something he can recognise. And in these pages he will recognise it all – the father with the harrumphing attitude to Bertie, nose slightly in air, the calmer and more friendly mother and nan, and the two main friends at school (who don't have as much to do this time, until the final tale). Visuals remain strong, with the artwork being really pleasurable line cartoons, with some lovely shading (mostly for smudges on Bertie's face, of course).
Yes, for once I deemed the audience for this book to be male – I am sure girls will find things to snicker about, but of course they too will put their noses in the air and deem maggot sandwiches, jam-faced boy heroes and capering around with pretend bows and arrows not worth their time. (Luckily for them the creators have just launched a series for the pink side of the bookstore.) These look slender volumes, but being a quick read and not completely cartoonish will give a sense of accomplishment to the boy choosing his own reading for the first time, and to repeat, the familiar pattern of three well-presented, suitably wacky and daft stories every time, will make the reader feel on safe ground. That's where buying quality like this gets you.
Also building up quite a presence on the shelf, now, and for the same boisterous audience, is the series starting with The Diary of Dennis the Menace by Steven Butler.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fame! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Fame! (Dirty Bertie) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon.com.
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