04 Oct 2010 No Comments
Mr. Gum is an old rotter. He’s absolutely grimsters.
You’re a Bad Man Mr. Gum (ages 7 and up) by Andy Stanton had my book baby laughing so hard milk came out her nose. This irreverant series is most certainly not for those of the prim and proper persuasion.
But if your kids like to laugh then these Roald-Dahlesque books are guaranteed to get them reading.
Mr Gum is a truly nasty old man. But the stories are not just about him. There’s also a little girl called Polly, an evil butcher, heroes and sweets and stuff, and Jake the dog, who must be saved from terrible, terrible evil.
I love the Mr. Gum series beyond words! Author and stand-up comic Andy Stanton’s books have been called “Monty Python for kids”. Originally published in Europe, it was difficult to get them for a while, but as their popularity has grown, the series is now readily available.
In the first book, You’re a Bad Man Mr. Gum, we meet the old rotter right away. Mr Gum lives in a disgustingly filthy house where “he slept, scowled, and picked his nose and ate it.” Even the bed isn’t made—Mr. Gum chucked “bits of wood on the floor and dumped a mattress on top.”
But his garden is the most beautiful in the town. Why? Some speculate that he likes to garden, but the real reason is the angry fairy who gives him “pan whacks” if the garden isn’t perfect.
Unfortunately for Mr. Gum, the neighborhood dog, Jake, frequently messes up the garden—causing Mr. Gum too many whacks with the frying pan. So Mr. Gum leaves spoiled cow hearts laced with rat poison and sweetened with lemonade powder in the center of the lawn. Jake takes the bait, but is ultimately saved by nine-year-old Polly and some magic chocolate (a questionable remedy, since chocolate is dangerous to dogs).
English author Stanton provides flawless narration of his books. His deadpan delivery and comic timing are perfect. With its quirky cast of characters and silly sense of humor, these stories are a great choice for reluctant readers. (Library School Journal)
There are 8 books in the series so far. Hopefully, there will be many, many more!