The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee

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The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Give yourself over to nostalgia with this collection of four stories based on the Mr Benn TV series. The books are as wonderful as you remember the television show being. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: October 2009
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0340997154

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Ooh, it's a book of Mr Benn! Excellent! For those of you not already wrapping yourselves in the comforting blanket of nostalgia, I suppose an introduction is warranted. Mr Benn lives at 52 Festive Road, and enjoys visiting his local fancy dress shop. When he tries on a costume and steps through a secret door, he finds himself transported to a new and exciting world.

There are four separate Extraordinary Adventures, with Mr Benn becoming a diver, red knight, caveman and spaceman. Each is based on the classic children's TV series (first aired in 1971, if you want to suddenly feel incredibly old). Nostalgia can often colour one's views - it's all too easy to remember loving something, rather than actually loving it again in the cold light of day. There's no such worry here though: Mr Benn is as wonderful as it ever was. They're simple tales, with a sprinkling of magic and adventure. Children will be drawn into the enchanting stories, whilst the adults reading the stories will fondly remember when they used to watch it on TV.

Each story has a reassuringly familiar structure to it, allowing the plot to gently flow. Each of the adventures themselves is sufficiently different from the others to make it enjoyable to read one after another - parents won't get bored at all. There's a little more text than in the average picture book, but the vocabulary is clear, simple and engaging, making them suitable for any young book fans.

To top it all off, David McKee's illustrations are just plain lovely. The people may be simply drawn, but they have a great deal of character - even the ever-changing Mr Benn. Some of the backgrounds are sparse, but appropriately so, and they never feel empty. The more detailed backgrounds, such as the underwater scenes in Diver, are a joy to pore over.

Or to sum it all up in one simple sentence: it's a Mr Benn book, and it's as good as you remember the TV series being. Highly recommended.

Thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

If you're on a nostalgia trip, then Top Ten Timeless Picture Books To Treasure Forever is full of great books. For an enjoyable look at different jobs in action, check out the Whoops-A-Daisy World books including Inspector Croc Investigates and Chief Rhino To The Rescue.

Booklists.jpg The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee is in the Bookbag's Christmas Gift Recommendations 2009.
Buy The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr Benn by David McKee at Amazon.com.


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