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The latest addition in Liz Pichon’s hugely popular Tom Gates series sees the boy hero feeling somewhat indecisive while his sister Delia is grumpy as ever. His mum is determined to sort out the mess in the house and has threatened Tom that she will decide what he gets to keep and what will be thrown out unless he gets a move on and does so himself… and quick.
Like similar books aimed at middle grade readers, Tom Gates owes much of its success to the skilful balance of text and pictures. Written as if it really were Tom’s own observations, each page is filled with doodles, drawings and kooky lettering. As an adult reading the book, the busyness on each page can be bizarre at first but the attraction to children is obvious. Pichon’s books make reading seem a joy, not a chore, and the most reluctant or struggling readers devour this series as quickly as she can write the next instalment.
The books’ overwhelming popularity is testament to Pichon’s ability to write genuine humour for children. The narrative cracks on at breakneck speed and the jokes, often at the expense of boring or unwitting adults, come thick and fast. Tom Gates fans will not be disappointed with this latest offering and this will surely be on the bestseller lists well into the summer term.
Publisher: Scholastic,