Review Blog

Jul 31 2018

Tom Gates: Biscuits, bands and very big plans by Liz Pichon

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Tom Gates book 14. Scholastic, 2018, ISBN 9781742998183
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Themes: School stories. Family life. Music. Art. Liz Pichon's award winning Tom Gates series returns for the fourteenth time in Biscuits, bands and very big plans. What a giant book, jam-packed with doodles that sprawl across the pages, curls and swirls, crazy characters, funny family members, zombies and so many opportunities to add your own doodles! Tom's running commentary on his school and home life is always humorous, his love for music and food shine through.
At break time Tom's class mates discuss their favourite songs and bands, One Dimension's 'Let's All Sing' is the most popular song. Marcus, Norman and Tom realise they need to write some new songs for their band 'DogZombies' and Tom's ideas of course are based on food - biscuits. Tom thinks their band needs a new look as well, not like the old bands he's seen in Delia's Rock Weekly magazines, singers wearing flares and big poodle hair. He's finding it difficult to return these magazines which he took without Delia knowing. Tom's sneaky foray also leads him into reading her diary and this causes some family tension leading to funny false information being shared with interesting consequences. Delia believes that the family's buying a new dog much to her horror.
Everyday events like band practice have that added extra touch of drama. Norman brings his little brother Alfie who turns out to be a whirling dervish, escape artist and mess maker when his rice shaker instrument explodes all over Tom's bedroom. Tom's coerced into singing in the school choir and after some initial concerns, he enjoys the experience, although wearing t-shirts spelling out the choir's name proves interesting.
Tom Gates: Biscuits, bands and very big plans brings back all the familiar characters and settings whilst upping the ante on silly situations, family fun and adding mega amounts of art. Liz Pichon's Tom Gates series is perfect for reluctant readers who enjoy stories told through visual representation.
Rhyllis Bignell

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