Friday, September 19, 2014

The Brilliant World of Tom Gates

The Brilliant World of Tom Gates written and illustrated by Liz Pinchon. Candlewick Press, 2014. $12.99. Recommended for ages 8-12.

The British are coming, the British are coming ...
with the brilliant and hilarious world of Tom Gates.

It’s the first day of  a new school year and 5th year (5th grader) Tom  Gates writes in his journal:

“Woke up-listened to music
Played my guitar
Rolled out of be (slowly) ...
Played some more guitar
Realized I hadn't done my ‘summer reading homework’
PANICKED … (p. 3).”
Beside the words “woke up,” Tom draws of pair of sleepy eyes. This wonderfully chatty book is accompanied by a multitude of hilarious doodles and eye catching font types.

At school, Tom’s teacher, Mr. Fullerman has moved him to the front of class. In his journal Tom wails:

“This is a DISASTER. How am I going to draw my pictures and read my comics? Sitting at the back of the class, I could avoid the teacher's glares. But I am SO close to Mr. Fullerman now I can see up his nose (p. 6).”  

Guess what Tom doodles in after “nose.”

For Tom, forgotten homework assignments, playing tricks on annoying students, and other antics keep him in perpetual trouble - and coming up with convincing excuses for his behavior. Tom's attempt to get out of an assignment by claiming he spilled water on it is hysterically rendered in a smeared doodle (p. 47).

At home, Tom must also deal with his moody teenage sister, Delia, and his eccentric grandparents,“The Fossils,”  who love to experiment with such unsavory food combinations as pizza with banana topping.

When Tom finds that  Dude3, his favorite band, will perform in concert locally, he is determined to attend.  Things go sour (and get real funny) when his best mate’s dog eats the tickets.

The comic doodles and varying fonts, while creating a busy page, make the story more visual for reluctant readers.

Visit Good Reads with Ronna to see my full review.

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