Review Blog

Feb 29 2012

Excellent excuses (and other good stuff) by Liz Pichon

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Tom Gates. Scholastic, 2011. ISBN 978-1-407124-40-7.
(Age: 8-12) This is the second Tom Gates book, the first being The Brilliant World of Tom Gates, which won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in 2011. It's a great read, especially for kids who are having withdrawal symptoms after finishing all the Wimpy Kid books.
Tom rejoices at the beginning of the book with the fact that he has 'no school for two whole weeks' and immediately lists all the activities he will enjoy during the break. They include the continued campaign against his older sister Delia and practising with his mate Derek in their band 'Dog Zombies'.
Not all of his plans run smoothly and Tom has a lesson to learn about cheating on his homework assignment.
Each page is full of Tom's doodles and handwriting. Apparently the handwriting from Liz Pichon's sample exercise books was used by the publishers as the basis for a new font used in the Tom Gates books. Some of my favourite doodles are of Tom's grandparents, fondly referred to by Tom as 'the fossils'. They are anything but 'fossil - like' in their behaviour.
This is a fun book that will immediately appeal to boys but will be suitable for all readers ages 8 to 12 years.
Jane Moore

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