My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong

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My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong

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Buy My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An early reader which is going to appeal to the average seven year old boy. It's a good story and has characters you can relate to. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: January 2009
Publisher: Puffin
ISBN: 978-0141324982

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It really can't be easy living at Nicholas' house. Dad has just brought an incubator home and is planning to hatch out some more eggs. The chicks will join the ones already in the garden along with the goat called Rubbish and a couple of rabbits. The twins, Cheese and Tomato (so called because they were born in the back of a pizza delivery van) have developed hot, red, spotty bottoms and to cap it all a girl has come to live next door. When you're thirteen that's really more than flesh and blood can stand.

This is a great book for the newly confident reader of about seven or so. Firstly and most importantly, it's a good story. There's a genuine mystery about where the eggs from the incubator are disappearing to and why Cheese and Tomato have problems with their bottoms. There's Cilla who's staying next door too. Why does she seem determined to cause trouble and why would she rather be in the mayhem of next door than in the quiet, settled home which the Truggs can provide?

There are the characters too. Mum and Dad come off the page as three-dimensional people, both with their strengths and their weaknesses. Cheese and Tomato rather blend into one (as with all the best pizzas) but Cilla could be the villain of the piece but you can't help but sympathise with the girl.

It's easy reading for the beginner too. There's vocabulary to challenge – Jeremy Strong doesn't patronise at all and the young reader is going to emerge at the end of this book with a larger vocabulary but there are some gentle aids along the way. To begin with, the story is compact and told in 110 pages so the newly confident reader is soon going to have the pride of having got a book under his belt – and that's quite a big thing. There are line drawings in the text which mean that pages don't look too daunting and they're often a gentle hint as to the way the story is going.

It's just a little bit anarchic too. We get to discuss bottoms and I've yet to meet a seven year old boy who doesn't love the subject of bottoms. Mum and Dad are not at all strait-laced and are even prone to a bit of silliness on occasions.

Jeremy Strong regularly delivers these wonderful early readers. You might feel inclined to buy more but you're not going to have a child nagging you to get another in the set. There are no cliff-hanger endings and no pushy marketing. Hurrah for Jeremy Strong.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If this book appeals to you then we think that you might also enjoy Gnomes Are Forever.

Buy My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong at Amazon.co.uk


Buy My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy My Brother's Hot Cross Bottom by Jeremy Strong at Amazon.com.

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