Saturday 3 July 2021

Shockingly Good Stories


Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Author of three popular book series for young readers, Pratt uses their main characters as mouthpieces for zany fractured fairytales. Thus, we have Nanny Piggins, seemingly prim but very idiosyncratic, who relates classic stories with a twist to her charges, including sensitive Boris and his brother, Derrick. Nanny’s language is precise and quirky. Her first story is about Rapunzel, who, instead of blonde hair, has locks of bacon. The prince, ‘deranged with hunger’, devours all the bacon until the princess in the tower is bald. Despite this, he proposes to her and, when they are married, ‘every morning the prince enjoyed the most delicious breakfast.’

In this collection of twenty funny and highly original tall tales, there’s story about how NASA space station trains cows to go to the moon to make cheese. Another, with the title ‘Little Red Riding Pig’, others about stolen sandwiches, chocolate waterfalls, and piranhas on the run. In between chapters, Pratt provides storytelling tips (such as imagining a great-aunt as a potential mass murderer).

The publisher says that this collection is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, David Walliams, and Paul Jennings. Certainly, Pratts’ previously unpublished stories can be favourably compared. This book is sure to be exceedingly popular with children from age seven and up.

Pratt’s recently launched podcast, Bedtime Stories, has received over 100k downloads in less than a year, and has a huge following from around the world.

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