Review Blog

May 19 2016

The boy who could do what he liked by David Baddiel

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Ill. by Jim Field. HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780008167813
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended for young readers aged 7+.
(Alfie is a little older, but the story is easily accessible for a younger reader.) Family. Rules and routines. Children's behaviour.
Alfie lives a fairly boring life; at least his classmates tell him so. At home he lives a fairly regulated life, with documented routines for every aspect of life. But Alfie is not dreadfully unhappy, or worried by this. But his normal structured existence is ruffled a little the night his parents cannot get their normal babysitter, and the new sitter injects a little magical spark of mayhem when she says, 'Do what you like!' There is a little hint of the Fairy Godmother in her ability to make significant change without doing much at all... and she is incredibly and breath-takingly ancient!
This is a charming story, without the syrupy inclusion of the 'moral of the story' type ending. In fact the simplicity of the tale and the charming way that Baddiel introduces the routines of Alfie's life will appeal to all young readers. The amusing 'fart in the bed' scenario will also entertain young readers.
Carolyn Hull

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