By Author / Illustrator
Julian Clary, David Roberts, David Roberts
Andersen Press Ltd
It's time for monkey business in this fifth outing for Teddington's wildest family, the Bolds!The Bolds are very surprised to be visited by Fred's mother, Granny Imamu. She's travelled all the way from the Serengeti, and now she's here, she does not approve of what she finds. Hyenas, living as people - whatever next! Granny Imamu starts to stir up mischief with twins Bobby and Betty, encouraging them to get in touch with their beastly side at school. And then the twins' teacher comes to the Bolds with a rather unusual problem: her grown-up son Jeffrey just isn't like other people. He's rather hairy, doesn't much like to talk, and loves to monkey about. If animals can become people, could it happen the other way around . . . ?
I am often wary about children's fiction written by celebrities or retired sports stars, so this was a first for me. The Bolds go Wild, written by actor and comedian Julian Clary and illustrated by David Roberts, is the fifth in the series and proved to be a very amusing read. The Bolds are a family of hyenas who live, disguised as humans in Teddington, England. Mr Bold writes cracker jokes, Mrs Bold designs and makes extravagant hats and their twin children, Betty and Bobby, attend the local primary school. When Mr Bold's mother, Imamu, turns up out of the blue to visit her long lost son, she immediately finds his new way of life difficult to accept. Imamu's wild behaviour comes close to exposing the Bolds' secret, but with the help of their friends; Nigel McNumpty, Miranda, Minnie, and most surprisingly, the twins' Headteacher, Mrs Dobson, they not only manage to keep their secret but also help a long suffering teen in the process. I found The Bolds Go Wild entertaining and well written. I particularly liked the way the author writes as two narrators; the first tells the main story and the second, lesser used voice, chips in 'talking directly' to the reader. This would be a great example of the complexity of narrator for use in the primary classroom. Although written for the 7-9 age group, this book will appeal to both old and young, and would be a great book to share either at home or in the classroom. As a child's independent read, the fun, quirky illustrations throughout the story will no doubt help motivate a young reader who may still be lacking confidence. If you're looking for a laugh or can't get enough of corny cracker jokes, then The Bolds Go Wild is most definitely the book for you. 304 pages / Ages 7-10 years / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 7+