Review Blog

Jul 20 2016

Tom Gates: Super good skills (Almost) by Liz Pichon

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Tom Gates series. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760152659
(Age: 8+) Recommended. Liz Pichon's award winning Tom Gates series returns for the tenth hilarious instalment. Tom's uniquely irreverent style shown in both words and cartoons captures the dramas of the last day of school and the highs and lows of the family holiday adventure. Doodling is Tom's way of expressing his feelings and making light of the world around him.
School life for Tom revolves mostly around his friends with the occasional interruption of class time. At break time for Tom and his friends the most important discussion focuses on what kind of Alien Snacks need to be served at DOGZOMBIES band practice. There is also a chance for the reader to create an alternative snack as well, plenty of room for doodling - sausage and sock flavour or salt and onion shells. Mr Fullerman their class teacher hands out plenty of unfinished work that needs completing over the holiday break. Of course, Tom's mind starts creating the most unusual excuses for not completing the assignment. On the last day of school it's casual clothes day and Tom creatively transforms his and Derek's sports t-shirts into colourful band shirts. A prize of a massive pad of sticky notes gives Tom some wonderful opportunities to prank Marcus and his sister.
The family holiday to the Pine Tree Riviera is fraught with rainy weather, leaky accommodation, Tom's limited wardrobe and problems with older sister Delia and her best friend Avril. Poor Tom is forced to wear a garbage bag raincoat because Mum forgot to pack enough clothes.
Tom Gates Super Good Skills (Almost) is filled with puzzles, doodles, drawing tips and creative opportunities. Liz Pichon understands her reading audience: they enjoy the balance of an easy to read story with plenty of chances to add their own drawings. Her fans love to follow Tom's hilarious life - there is always something happening, even school lunches can be exciting!
Rhyllis Bignell

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