My Funny Family by Chris Higgins and Lee Wildish
|My Funny Family by Chris Higgins and Lee Wildish|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An engaging early reader with a heroine who really has a personality. A lovely story of family life.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: August 2012|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Mattie Butterfield is a worrier. Well, it's not surprising with a family like hers - something always seems to be going wrong. Or if it doesn't go wrong then it very easily might. She gets upset that the tomato seeds which she and Lucinda have planted at school won't thrive because they're in the cold, dark cupboard and they're all wet. Lucinda's parents don't seem to like each other very much and it might be that they're going to get divorced. What would happen if Mattie's parents stopped liking each other? Why does grandma seem not to like the Butterfield children very much? You see, when you think about it, there's lots to worry about. And Mattie is particularly worried about why Mum has been to the doctor.
It's a lovely story with situations which every child will recognise - the sort of changes which happen quite naturally - and there's a gentle message that things do work out in the end. The Butterfields are a delightfully quirky family with most of the children - and even the dog - named after artists. Adults will appreciate the humour that runs right through the book and children will recognise the way that families work. There's the rather annoying younger sister, who's really quite clever in her own way and the two youngest children, Stanley and Anika who are all but inseparable and generally referred to as Stanika.
Chris Higgins doesn't shy away from the realities of family life, either. The story acknowledges that divorce could happen, that unemployment happens to people quite regularly, that people die and babies are born. It's all dealt with in a very matter-of-fact way. The book will appeal more to girls - Mattie narrates the story and although men and boys do appear the strongest male character is probably Uncle Vesuvius. Don't ask. But for girls in the seven plus age group it makes a good early reader with short chapters and excellent illustrations which give a clue to what's happening and hold interest.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also like to look at Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door by Julia Donaldson and Hannah Shaw which has the advantage of being Dyslexia Friendly. Boys will undoubtedly appreciate Horrid Henry's Nightmare by Francesca Simon and Tony Ross.
You can read more book reviews or buy My Funny Family by Chris Higgins and Lee Wildish at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy My Funny Family by Chris Higgins and Lee Wildish at Amazon.com.
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