IN a very bad wood, there was a very bad house.
And in that very bad house, there was a very bad room.
And in that very bad room there was a very bad cupboard.
And in that very bad cupboard there was a very bad shelf.
And on that very bad shelf there was a very bad box.
And in that very bad box, there was a very bad box.
And this is it!
This was the introduction I received to The Very Bad Book, and I won't lie, when I settled down to start reading it I really had no idea what to expect. It had been a long time since I'd read a book for young readers.
But what I found were a lot of giggles and flashbacks to a childhood filled with nonsensical books like Far Out Brussel Sprout.
There are ridiculous short stories like Mud Brown and the Seven Slobs, which satirises the typical fairytale romance, badly drawn cartoons like The Boy Who Ate Dead Flies, and even jokes and poems, all of which focus, of course, on being very bad.
There was a bit of controversy about the first book in the Bad Books series when it was released, with some parents claiming the stories could result in children copying the idiotic actions of some characters. Understandably, this could make some parents hesitant to introduce their children to the Bad books, but frankly I thought the way the stories focused on the absurd made it very clear that the actions of the characters were ‘bad'.
Best of all, it's possible to pick up this book, flick it open to a page and delve straight in which would make it easy and enjoyable for younger readers.
The Very Bad Book
Andy Griffiths, illustrations by Terry Denton
Pan Macmillan Australia
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