10th February '17
This is a delightfully funny and witty book. Although aimed at children older than my class - most are of a very high reading age so I read it to them nevertheless. Although this is a book best read to yourself either as an adult or child as it is set out in a comic strip style throughout which is much easier to follow when reading to yourself. I found, because I was reading to an audience I had to explain more of the comic strip sections, in order for them to continue to follow the story. They did enjoy the story though and often asked questions regarding its contents, they were also able to answer questions about it which was great for their comprehension of the text. They enjoyed the pictures as there were an awful lot - this was something they really wanted to see more of in books and so far the last 5 books we've read have had many pictures. The story is about a boy called Sam Lyttle – who lies…a LOT! The children thought this was bad because they know that lying ends in getting into trouble. But knowing that it was someone else getting into trouble and the ridiculous lies that spilled out of his mouth, they found it quite funny. They enjoyed predicting what would happen next and generally were accurate in their predictions as you’d expect the events to unfold in the way that they did. Most of them weren’t a major fan of Feeney because he was so unkind and spiteful and suggested that Sam should stop lying because it only ever got him into trouble anyway. The book was very easy to read and very quick to get through due to the little number of words on most pages – they enjoyed that part as it was similar to books they’ve read and compared it to Tom Gates books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries – all firm favourites with the majority of the class.
Most of the book followed how Sam, 9 years old, was getting into a bit of trouble with Feeney, the class bully, who gave everyone three strikes before he got you. Or you’d disappear like Carl Curtains did. Due to Sam’s lying and vivid imagination, the strikes happened thick and fast. With the first strike being due to him convincing most children in the school canteen that you can eat anything for lunch but if you imagine it’s a ‘big, fat, hot, juicy cheeseburger’ it’ll taste like one, even if you have a banana for lunch. This caused major issues if you were already tucking into a tasty cheeseburger like Feeney was – it confused his brain and he was violently sick everywhere. Hence him then placing Sam high on his list of strikes. Strike two occurred when Sam was desperately hungry at snack time and stole a ‘Foot-long super-salami meat feast’. Not realising it was Feeney’s when he was devouring it, he was content knowing his stomach was now full. The third strike came shortly after when Sam and his best friend Charlie were in the park and heard a noise – Sam, lying again, said it sounded like an alligator – similar to the one he’d wrestled in the past. Although Charlie was the brave one who discovered it was a cat, petrified and quivering away from Feeney and his pet dog called Butcher, who had been looking for the ‘escaped’ cat. Sam lied that he hadn’t seen it and Feeney knew instantly that he was lying – Strike number three. He took the cat home and lied that it was a Guatemalan cat who he’d adopted due to her severe and horrendous living conditions. The family accepted the cat under the condition it improved his lying, which was a lie he’d told his mom in order to keep the cat.
I guessed Sam would redeem himself but the possibilities for how the book could end were endless, it was quite enjoyable to think about what could happen as it was totally open to many opportunities.
A very much interactive and funny book which engages the reader and forces them to keep on reading with its humour and easy to follow storyline.
The children as a class said the book was "Awesome, totally amazing, incredible, superb, spectacular and really funny."
Their thoughts are as follows:
"I liked the bit when he told his mom and dad that he did actually tell lies. That was my absolute favourite because I was really happy that he told the truth. If he didn't he would get into a lot of trouble again, and again." HW aged 6
"I liked the bit where he did the magic trick and said that the apple was a cheeseburger and then Feeney was sick all over the Headmaster because Feeney wasn't very nice so I thought it was a really good punishment for him. I liked the pictures of Feeney's eyes when they were all black because it looked really cool." KC aged 7
"I liked the bit when the cat was running round the table because it was funny how it ran around in circles. It made me laugh." GS aged 6
"I liked the part when Pudding done a pee in the fruit bowl because it reminds me of the film Secret Life of Pets when the dog done that in the basket." GO aged 6
"My favourite part was when he tells the truth because it was really funny because he didn't tell the full truth he only told part of it. The end was really funny but I don't think it was true." TD aged 6
"I liked it when cheeseburger was mentioned because it was cheeselarious." H aged 7
"I liked the part when the cat put her eyes wide open and Sam started to tell the truth because it was funny and I liked it a lot." KB aged 6
"This book was really good because it was really funny and I liked when someone had a drink they called it a cheeseburger smoothie. The cat peeing in the fruit bowl was hilarious and I liked that he told the truth because its very good to tell the truth. I loved the cats eyes because they looked like she was staring all the time. My favourite part was when Feeney vomited all over the Headmaster because that was really, really, really funny." AD aged 7
The children said the book had taught them to:
"tell the truth."
"never tell lies."
"always tell the truth or if you do tell a lie you should tell the truth straight away."
They also agreed that 5 stars wasn't enough for this book and would give it more if they could.