Comedian David Baddiel’s AniMalcolm: a gripping barnyard adventure story
David Baddiel is one of the UK’s premier comedians; he performed in the UK’s first arena comedy show, has been host and presenter to numerous television shows, he even starred alongside Michael Gove in “A Stab in the Dark”. His acclaimed stand-up show “My Family: Not the Sitcom” exploring death, ageing, dementia and gay cats has just ended at the Vaudelvelle Theatre in October. In addition to stand-up and television, Baddiel is an award-winning children’s author and has published his fourth children’s novel, AniMalcolm.
AniMalcolm is the story of Malcolm, a middle-born child in a family full of animals and animal lovers. When his birthday wish list of a laptop computer gets pulled off the fridge by the cat and then presumably eaten by the dog, if not lining the hampster’s cage, Malcolm is slightly let down by the alternative gift he receives from his family – a Peruvian Chinchilla. His family just doesn’t get him and they just don’t seem to want to listen. When will they understand that Malcolm does not like animals?
In what Malcolm takes to be a bit of understanding benevolence on the part of his family, his parents agree to send him on the Year 6 school journey. Only when he arrives does he realise he is spending a week on a farm! This is where the story takes off and turns into a real adventure, filled with compelling and hilarious twists and turns.
My 10 and 7 year old kids have greatly enjoyed this book. I find boys (and mine in particular) can be a bit more difficult to entice to read. My nearly-fluent younger son was immediately taken in with the illustrations and was not overwhelmed by the difficulty of the text; in addition to this, its always nice to be able to identify with a boy protagonist.
My Year 6 daughter was drawn in with the family dynamic, the verisimilitude of the older siblings speech (OMGTT= Oh My God Times Two) and the funny, engaged storytelling. Baddiel’s instincts as a humorist make for excellent dialogue and riotously funny events.
If you fancy winning a copy of the book, stop by my London Baby and Kids Facebook page and leave a comment for a chance to win. AniMalcolm is recommended for children ages 8-12.