Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet by Adam Hargreaves (Pavilion Children's Books)

Hmm. We got in a bit of a grump about this one, as it took us ages to actually work out the unintelligible scrawl on the courier's note as to where the heck he'd deposited the book parcel (Lovely PR Folks, I cannot stress this enough, PLEASE DO NOT COURIER ITEMS TO US - OR AT LEAST IF YOU'RE GOING TO, ASK FOR AN ALTERNATE ADDRESS!)

We finally tracked it down purely by chance (alas, dumped on one of our neighbours who must be sick and tired of this sort of thing happening by now), and so let's take a look at Adam Hargreaves' "Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet".

If Adam's name sounds familiar, he's the chap who has been carrying on the sterling work laid down by his dad Roger. Yes, that Roger Hargreaves, the man responsible for the utterly awesome "Mr Men and Little Miss" books that were a huge part of my childhood, and a significant part of Charlotte's too.

Those little bite-sized books with plenty of story in them were obviously a great place for Adam to learn his father's trade, taking over the reins and making them his own.

Now though he's stretching his own storytelling legs with a new character called Molly Mischief.

The best way to describe Molly? She's like a mash-up between Marmalade Atkins, Minnie the Minx, Beryl the Peril and Little Miss Naughty all rolled into one.

Molly wreaks absolute chaos at home, but somehow her family (Mum, Dad and little brother) think that it might be a great idea to visit a zoo with Molly.

As you'd imagine things don't quite go according to plan. You see Molly has a secret. She has always wanted a BIG HUGE pet instead of her rather dreary and boring pet mouse, so proceeds to kidnap various animals for a swift home visit or two (or three!)

Kids love characters like Molly, it's fun to live vicariously in a story through characters who seemingly get away with just about everything (Molly smashing a hole in the roof of the house so that her new pet giraffe can stick its head out and be more comfortable? AIIEEEE!)

Charlotte, of course, also laughed out loud at one gag involving an Elephant and a particularly pungent botty burp.

Adam's clean illustrative style lends itself well to this story - but here's the thing, I just couldn't really find anything to like about Molly myself - though that could be because even in a fun and entertaining story, nightmare kids are nightmare kids - and though the moral of the tale is a fine one (be happy with what you've got, because sometimes it's the best - as Molly swiftly discovers having a mouse as a pet is far more manageable than an Elephant or a Hippo), you really wouldn't want to give Molly house room!

It's a great start for Adam taking his own characters out for a stroll though, and as I said, kids just can't resist a naughty character so I think Molly might be back for a second outing perhaps?

Charlotte's best bit: Elephant farts. Need I say more?

Daddy's favourite bit: Clean illustrations, entertaining storytelling, a thoroughly unlikeable character who does at least redeem herself by learning something of a lesson at the end of the tale but definitely a great start to what could become a fine new series for Adam.

(Kindly supplied for review)

"Molly Mischief: My Perfect Pet" by Adam Hargreaves is out now, published by Pavilion. 

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