Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts

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Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts

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Buy Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: Angela Nicely is just as fun- and adventure-filled as her male counterpart, meaning this series will soon fill up another treasure-laden bookstore shelf.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: January 2017
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781847157775

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Having been a champion of these creators' previous franchise, featuring the world's muckiest, silliest, bogiest boy, Dirty Bertie, it was clear the flipside to that needed an airing – his mirror image from the female side of the species. And at last, at the sixth time of asking, I get to witness the results for myself. Angela Nicely is not quite as mucky, nor as silly – and certainly not as bogey-filled as the boy next door, what with her perfect pink frock and perfectly pinker hairband – but she gets into just as many scrapes. Three, each and every time a book comes out, as we'd expect. And, if anything, they might even be a shade better than those featuring her male counterpart…

I'll address the format used, for those who only buy girlie books for girls, and so might not have seen their daughters sneaking a quick peak at Dirty Bertie in the school library. Every time we get three short tales, perfectly formed like as not, with a brilliant, snappy edge to them, meaning that when you put them together with the slightly zany illustrations the pages just fly by, and much entertainment is to be had. The title character is heavily featured in every small drama, alongside her two bezzies, a nemesis, and a pair of suffering parents. If you did expect all that and more, then you can rest assured all is in order – about the biggest change is that the titles sometimes have more than one word to them…

So, to the three adventures here. The first features Angela in full-on ecstasy about the chance to see the world's best boy band at the local arena – up to, that is, the moment when she makes a promise to said nemesis she surely cannot fulfil. Next, in a sterling change of tone, scene and energy, comes a piece of slapstick concerning mother Nicely's concern over winning a best garden competition – even when some of these thirty-page mini-marvels are obvious and predictable, they're still great fun. We close with Angela finding out about agony aunts, and taking a shy girl at school under her wing as a result. Oh, and indeed, dear.

I remain in some kind of awe at the writing of these books. Yes, it's perfectly silly at times, dialogue-heavy, and completely unchallenging to read at my age. But I doubt I could come up with as many top-notch stories as these guys. A part of me thinks my delight at reading this, as silly as that sounds, comes from the novelty of Angela, but at the same time I've seen the number of books Bertie has featured in and can't fault them for dropping off in quality. So the pleasure here isn't purely because this franchise is a fresher one, where stories are more easily had. No, the pleasure is just that the author is a master of his craft, and these little items are really worth collecting. David Roberts has caught the innocent face and body language of his heroine – and given the boy band some suitably awful hair, too – meaning he's matched the effort of Alan MacDonald, who, among other things, has really captured the snooty tone of the nemesis character. Brilliant.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

The same artist has got another ongoing series, this time concentrating on clever little girls, such as Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts.

Buy Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon.co.uk


Buy Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Starstruck! (Angela Nicely) by Alan MacDonald and David Roberts at Amazon.com.

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