Book review: Mr Gum Collection

mr gum

Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals, fun and is hell-bent on destroying the town of Lamonic Bibber. But feisty Polly and friends have other ideas.

It’s spot-on for 6-8 year-old boys who are in that delightful phase of finding farts and burps utterly hilarious.

In this series of eight books by irreverent writer Andy Stanton, 6-8 year-olds will be sucked into the schemes of evil Mr Gum.

What I liked…

Andy Stanton’s writing immediately strikes a chord with boys – it’s pick-your-nose-and-eat-it humour that can’t sit still. Sound familiar?

It’s spot-on for 6-8 year-old boys who are in that delightful phase of finding farts and burps utterly hilarious, but who might not be engaging that well with their weekly fix of the goody-two-shoes Oxford Reading Tree.

As a parent it’s a lot of fun to read in the evening for a few laughs with your kids before bed.

The book lurches here, there and everywhere, sucking the reader in to the evil schemes of Mr Gum and Polly’s brave attempts to get in his way.

There’s an array of hilarious characters and unlikely partnerships: Polly the 9-year-old, Friday O’Learly the elderly man who randomly shouts “THE TRUTH IS A LEMON MERINGUE!” and a gingerbread man called Alan Taylor who has electric muscles.

Andy Stanton has his own unique vocabulary of made-up words and expressions like, “Shabba me whiskers,” and “no, you evillers!”

So I found myself reading this book with a west country accent and at great speed to the amusement of my kids.

Should your child want to read this book on their own, the small amount of text on each page can help as a gentle progression to ‘proper’ reading books.

The brilliantly atmospheric line-drawn illustrations by David Tazzyman along with the use of different fonts, will also help keep your child’s attention and add to the storytelling experience.

It’s easy to see why the Mr Gum books have bagged several awards and have a huge following.

What I didn’t like…

What’s not to like – it’s engaging my son in books with much hilarity.

However if you’re a bit sensitive about bodily functions, it might not go down quite so well.

Is it good value for money?

The full RRP is £47.99, however if you shop around online you can find it at the hugely knocked down price of £14.99.

It would make a great birthday present, or if you split the box set up it works out at just under £2 a book which makes ideal party bag fillers or smaller birthday presents on a budget.

Where to purchase this product?

Red House £14.99 or Puffin Book Club £16.99

The eight books in this box set are:

  1. Mr Gum You’re a Bad Man
  2. Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire
  3. Mr Gum and the Goblins
  4. Mr Gum and the Power Crystals
  5. Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear
  6. What’s for Dinner Mr Gum?
  7. Mr Gum and the Cherry Tree
  8. Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout

Rating out of five