Wendy Quill is Full Up of Wrong by Wendy Meddour and Mina May
|Wendy Quill is Full Up of Wrong by Wendy Meddour and Mina May|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Look beyond the kinetic page layouts and there're three great little short stories here that are bound to be enjoyed by your passing young girl.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192+||Date: July 2014|
|Publisher: OUP Oxford|
Meet Wendy Quill. She's a big-hearted and big-haired primary schoolgirl, and not everything goes right in her world. When she is allowed to use her brand-new, second-hand bike to go to the shops for the first time on her own, she slightly squishes an old lady, and has to worry about the police presence at school the following day. She feels anxious when she's compromised herself with flapjacks and not being in the right gang at school. The only good bits of her life are the best friend she has, how loyal her invisible dog is, and the fact that when she wants to read her older sister's diary a ghost gets it down from a too-high shelf for her. No, honestly it does. Hey, I've read this book and I know what happens if you lie – so it has to be the truth.
The truth is that this will be pretty damn decent for any girls in the 7-9 age range. It's a great format – three snappy adventures, all looking back in a tiny way to the ones that came before, and definitely geared towards any level of reading ability. The pages are alive with designs, squirly captions, illustrations and wacky font use. You even get lists, like Katie Davies books. There's a moral to all the stories too, and although they appear at the end in a little box-out they're pretty subdued, evident yet not forced on us.
The first story here is probably the best, due to its twist ending; the second I suppose goes for charm with friendship through adversity (and flapjacks); while the third is quite mature in the archness behind its conceit – I wonder how many readers will fail to see the actual intent of the exercising girls, when to the adult it's humorously blatant.
The three different tales do mean that even at the book three stage of this series, there is great variety to be had, all the while maintaining what has gone before – there's hints of the recession in the talk of the parents, there's that invisible dog I had to learn about as and when I could, and there's a good family set-up that for once doesn't rely on parents or baby siblings being embarrassments.
It's not a perfect format, in my mind – there are just too many captions in the side margins that can interrupt the flow of the story, especially for those finding reading difficult. I didn't take to the style where everyone is mentioned, in dialogue or out, by both first and second name at every opportunity. But it does still tick a heck of a lot of the right boxes – liveliness, an honest and enjoyable look at a quirky young girl, and most importantly three genuinely entertaining tales. It also manages to look like its own thing in a very crowded market – it has more genuine illustrations than the more doodley pieces in Tom Gates books. So while it might look too garish for the adult reader, it's a series that is its own beast, and a very pleasant beast at that. Much like an invisible dog, then…
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wendy Quill is Full Up of Wrong by Wendy Meddour and Mina May at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Wendy Quill is Full Up of Wrong by Wendy Meddour and Mina May at Amazon.com.
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