Freddy Tangles Series by Jack Brand

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Ill. by Tom Jellett. Allen & Unwin, 2015.
Legend or Loser. ISBN 9781760110345
Champ or Chicken. ISBN 9781760110345
(Age: 8-10) Recommended. This new series by Jack Brand explores young Freddy Tangles life, his family, school dramas and friendships. Presented in the style of Big Nate and Tom Gates, with cartoon illustrations, diagrams and two ants who provide a running commentary, these funny junior novels are easy to read.
Legend or Loser introduces young Frederick Augustus Reginald Tangles - Freddy Tangles who lives with his mum, dad, old dog Mince and younger annoying sister Jessica. He has to share a bedroom with her and even though he doesn't mind playing dollies, she often embarrasses him in front of his friends. He meets his Russian friend Blocker who lives down the street when he accidentally dakked Blocker's Mum. Freddy's life is full of crazy situations and comments; he accidentally touches Tabby's tongue when they share a dropped icecream cone, but he prefers to touch his dog's tongue. When his full name is read out at roll call, Freddy quickly becomes known as FARTboy and this quickly spreads across the school. Verbal and physical bullying occurs and Freddy is forced to take action, siding with another bully and his gang.
Freddy shows resilience as he creatively deals with the bullies will a little advice from Blocker's mother and his friends and family who are there to support him.
In Champ or Chicken, Freddy has to face his three worst fears, spiders, heights and becoming naked in public. After the running commentary on nose-picking, dealing with girls by pretending they are boys and the problems caused by the new kid at school, Freddy tries to be re-invited to Tabby's huge birthday party in the park. Unfortunately, just as he's changing into his cowboy costume - ready to ride the mechanical bull, he's confronted by menacing spiders. A naked and embarrassed Freddy quickly climbs a tree followed by the arachnids, and after reaching his limit, he falls onto the bull. How much trouble can one guy get up to?
Freddy Tangles is a funny character who has a unique way of dealing with all the dramas in his life. A great new series, complimented by Tom Jellett's humorous cartoons.
Rhyllis Bignell