The truth according to Arthur : a book about fibbing by Tim Hopgood

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Ill. by David Tazzyman. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408864999
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Lying, Honesty, Accidents. With the sub title, a book about fibbing the reader knows from the start that this book will be educative. But it does so in a highly entertaining way. At first a little reluctant to read a didactic tome, I was surprised at the way the story is presented and the illustrations serve a level of humour which is infectious, and the layout of the book, with its different sized fonts, made the reading a pleasure.
Arthur has ridden his brother's bike, something he has been told not to do, and as a result, scratched his parents' car and damaged the bike. He is at a loss to decide what to do. He practises many stories on his friends: he tries bending the truth, and stretching the truth, of hiding the truth or just ignoring it. Each attempt at not telling the truth leads him to another mess which is not believed by his friends. The truth, a gray blob that accompanies him but is often ignored, stands by him, reminding him of what he should do. When the time comes he owns up to what he has done, and now the truth and Arthur are the best of friends. Mum's predicted response was not what he expected and telling the truth gained him admiration not punishment.
The line and colour wash illustrations are deceptively simple, adding humour to the story. Readers will laugh out loud at the consequences of Arthur's attempts at distorting the truth, recognising their own efforts at covering their tracks. This book will initiate much discussion within classes and with children at home.
Fran Knight