Review Blog

Jun 22 2009

By the picking of my nose by Martin Chatterton

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Little Hare Books, 2009. ISBN 978192127287
(Age 8-11) 11 year old William Shakespeare loves going to the theatre, but because of the rules only allowing adults, and his father wanting him to go into the family business of tanning, he must put on a false beard and build up his height by adding pieces of wood to the soles of his shoes. Found out by the manager, peering at all the audience in case there is an imposter, Will must flee. His father, also aware that the boy loves the theatre, arrives in time to see his son headed for the Queen's private room, and there they all collide. Will clambers under her skirts, but a hair from his beard finds a tear in her knickers, and tickles her nether regions, causing pandemonium. Running through backstage he is hidden by three women, and these predict, by looking at a booger from his nose, that he will be an actor.
And on it goes for another 180 pages or so, making puns with Shakespearian names, titles of plays and anything Elizabethan. All a romp and sure to cause hilarity amongst the 8-11 age group for whom it is intended. The endless use of jokes about bums, noses and what is in them is an added extra for that age group. By the author of  The Brain finds a Leg, and its sequel, Brain full of Holes, Chatterton's humour will have wide appeal.
Fran Knight

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