Review Blog

Mar 07 2019

George and the great bum stampede by Cal Wilson

cover image

Ill. by Sarah Davis. Scholastic, 2019. ISBN 9781742762753.
The Peppertons really are the most surprising family ever. We know this is a comic novel dedicated to nonsense as soon as we meet George's peculiar family. The key driver is George's mother, Professor Pippa Pepperton. Dad barely makes an appearance likely because Philpott is not an inventor. Their children's names are equally nonsensical. First we have Pumpernickel Pepperton, a high-schooler; then Poco and the twins, Paprika and Pilates. George is the last born but he isn't the smallest because Poco had been shrunk to the size of a lemon with Professor Pippa's Shrink Ray invention.
Life is never boring living with an inventor but the trouble begins when the pretentious Finley family move in next door. Princely Farnsley Finley is in George's class at school and immediately starts buying friends. This bugs Poco more so and he coerces George into taking their mother's new Replicator Gun, to school. Of course it is a hit, but the villain engineers a few mishaps whilst stealing the gun, including the replication of Maddison Addison's pinching fingers and Mr Rickets droopy big bottoms - not once but 500 times! Chaos results from the march of a thousand disembodied body parts - especially the stench of fartles(sic) emanating from all the bums.
This comic novel is utter verbal nonsense complemented by attention grabbing title pages, cartoons, bold headings, various fonts, and lists of rules, inventions and definitions - all illustrated by Sarah Davis who lures us fully into the surreal realm created by Cal Wilson, with an irresistible cover. Good for a giggle or two. Watch the trailer.
Deb Robbins

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