Thursday, 15 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Barry Hutchison (Author) Katie Abey (Illustrator) - Worst Ever School Trip (Beaky Malone Bk2)

It’s been 92 hours since Beaky last told a lie. So far he’s survived two full days of school with only three light beatings, two telling-offs and one wedgie ... but the annual school trip is going to take Beaky’s survival skills to a whole other level – especially as a mix up in the school office means that Beaky and his class are on a trip to Learning Land, an educational theme park aimed at eight-year-olds. And home to cheery-but-creepy Clumso the Clued-up Clown whose job is to dish out fascinating facts to one and all. 

But there is worse to come when Beaky’s partnered with Wayne, a.k.a the school bully, who has a morbid fear of clowns. With Beaky unable to tell a lie and Wayne intent on beating him up, things aren’t looking good. And that’s before they find themselves on the run from a manic clown who’ll seemingly stop at nothing to track them down…

Lock all of your doors and run for cover as "Beaky Malone" is back in January 2017. When this book landed on my doormat, I had a sudden uncontrollable itch to hide it. I'm not sure why, but where could I hide this book? (Natural thought coming through) AND it suddenly came to me . . . . . the moon, that's a far enough away place, right?  

It is all well and good having a great idea at 7am in your underpants, but the first thing is, where do you get a rocket from? I can hear you all scream that NASA has one, but the second thought was, why was I feeling like this? WHY?

I sat down with a cup of tea, just to calm my nerves, but also to marvel at the brilliant book cover produced by Katie Abey.  When all of a sudden, I let rip a RIPLEY mighty fart that shook all of the houses in the street (I don't mind telling you). By fart power alone, the pages turned and I started reading THE BOOK which was a VERY big BIG mistake indeed, as I'm now mentally scarred and it's all Barry Hutchison's fault for bringing Beaky Malone into the reading world. 

Kids - you are going to love this book. Adults - you going to shake uncontrollably as your sense of humour is tested to the limit. Teachers - you are going to scream, run and then hide (this is a natural instinct when you come up against a character like Beaky Malone). Be also aware when you read this book, that you are going to see clowns everywhere; they are going to haunt your nightmares, so be prepared. Clumso the Clued-up Clown will leave you feeling very disturbed indeed. 

This story follows directly from the first book (World's Greatest Liar) in the series. In that book, Beaky is the star of the show. He is a fantastically written character, who is an outrageous liar. As a result, he was shoved into a "truth-telling machine" at Madame Shirley's Marvelous Emporium of Peculiarities. When he emerged, Beaky couldn't tell even the slightest little fib. In fact, he then feels compelled to utter every truth and honest thought that enters his head. This concept carries on throughout the book to great effect and will leave you running for random madness, factual or not. 

The narrative is clever, witty and infectiously funny for all ages. At times it's edgy, and Beaky Malone's real life observations are right on the mark, giving this book a big thump of reality amongst the slap stick caper inside the pages. Katie adds to this with her brilliant illustrations making this book a recommended read for everyone.  Explosively funny, upbeat, uplifting and delightfully imaginative - what more can a reader ask for? Another book, perhaps?! NO!!!

This is a great way to start the new year.... published by Stripes Publishing on the 12th January 2017. 

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