Like a lot of parents I am always on the look out for new books that will ignite a love of reading in my children. My son used to be an avid reader and we have read most of the Road Dahl books together as well as some other great series’, such as Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. However, since the number of books he has to read for school has increased he has stopped wanting to read purely for fun.
When I was offered the chance to review AniMalcolm by David Baddiel, a book focused on animals and humour, it sounded right up his street and I jumped at the chance, hoping he would start to enjoy reading again.
Malcolm doesn’t like animals.
Which is a problem because his family love them. Their house is full of pets. What the house is NOT full of is stuff Malcolm likes. Such as the laptop he wanted for his birthday.
The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year Six school trip, which Malcolm never thought his parents would pay for. And yet there he is, on the bus, heading to… oh no. A farm.
Over the next days, Malcolm changes. He learns a lot about animals. More, in many ways, than he would like. He learns what it’s really like to be an animal. A whole series of animals, in fact…
It does make him think differently. And speak differently. And eat differently. And, um, smell differently. But will he end up the same as before?
Because sometimes the hardest thing to become is… yourself.
We started out taking it in turns to read this book aloud to one another and while my son instantly loved it, I was a little unsure. There are a number of footnotes which include funny anecdotes or explanations, and it makes for somewhat stilted reading. We then decided we would read the book quietly to ourselves instead to see if that was better in and it was.
AniMalcolm is by far the longest book my son has ever read (355 pages – although quite big writing), so he hasn’t finished it yet, but he’s enjoying it and all the animals have really captured his imagination. I skipped ahead and read it in two sittings and I have to say it completely won me over and I know M is going to love everything that is coming up in the story. We’ll be keeping this one for his sister when she gets older too.
The book is aimed at children aged 8-11, M has just turned 8 and I would say that is a good fit. It definitely works better for independent readers which I think a lot of kids in this age group will be.
If you want to know more, here is a great trailer the publishers have put together:
Animalcolm has just been released today in paperback (the hardback is already out) and can now be purchased from most good book shops, as well as on kindle.
*This is a sponsored post and I was supplied a copy of the book for the purpose of writing an honest review. The post also contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own in accordance with my disclosure policy.