23 November 2009

Book of the Week (39): "Grubtown Tales" series by Philip Ardagh

Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky, The Year That It Rained Cows and The Far From Great Escape are the first three titles in the Grubtown Tales series. The books are as extremely silly as one would expect from a collection of stories penned by the illustrious Mr Ardagh.

Stinking Rich and Just Plain Stinky has just won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize in the age 7-14 category, and funny it is indeed. It tells of the trials of several members of Grubtown, including Jilly Cheeter the official duck gatherer, her friend Mango Claptrap, and Manual Org, a chap so repulsive that instead of having greasy hair, he has hairy grease.

Beardy Ardagh is himself a character in the story as he too is, it turns out, an inhabitant of Grubtown. This allows for many entertaining asides. For example, he reports that after a spell of windy weather:

"I'd found a missing child in my beard. She must have been blown in there. I don't want you to think that my beard's particularly big. It's just that the child was particularly small."

If you like your reading matter to be exceedingly daft, Grubtown Tales are for you.

Recommended by Susan Reuben

  • For more Philip Ardagh, try the Eddie Dickens series, starting with Awful End.
  • Or for something if possible even sillier than Grubtown Tales, read Andy Stanton's Mr Gum books, starting with You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum!
  • Jeremy Strong writes funny and anarchic books. Try Krazy Kow Saves the World - Well, Almost.

No comments: