6th February '17
What a brilliant book! The story is absolutely fantastic. It's about a strange family who we discover are actually hyenas taken on the identity of a young married couple who get eaten on their honeymoon in Africa - where the hyenas originate from. The family, two hyenas named Sue and Spot, fly back to England using the couples' passports and begin to live as Fred and Amelia Bold. Soon they get used to shopping, working, wearing clothes and standing on their hind legs and are confident in using the English language to speak to others. They get used to living as humans quite quickly and fit into society snuggly with the odd slip up like rubbing their bottoms onto the bushes in the garden or laughing too much! They soon have twins and they have to try their hardest to teach the twins to be like humans too as they are quite obviously hyenas and very very wild. Their neighbour, Mr McNumpty is very old and suspects something isn't quite right. The hyenas live a great life as humans and eventually have to tell their children that they are infact cubs - from the hyena family. They visited a safari park and discovered some hyenas, they showed the twins they could distract other animals, send them away with a hyena war cry and be like humans enjoying the sights. When they reached the hyenas, they were surprised to see humans driving a car, but quickly they became acquainted and managed to find out that the oldest hyena was going to be put to sleep by the vet, who had recently observed his 'arthritic' behaviour, and the Bold's were mortified, they promised the hyenas they would come up with a plan to try and rescue Tony from the enclosure to save him from impending doom. Mr Bold and the family dug deep down underneath the safari park and so did the wild hyenas, Boo and Ena. They spent nights digging and returned home during the early hours with a suspicious Mr McNumpty watching from his bedroom window. Eventually they rescued Tony and begun to make him feel at home in their house which they'd set up for him to live like a dog until he got used to living like a human. It took a while but Tony soon got the hand of standing and walking on his hind legs. Mr McNumpty was one day walking back from shopping when he was set upon by a gang of youths. It was right in front of Tony's eyes so Tony being more wild than the Bold's didn't control his animalistic behaviour but instead howled, growled and beared his sharp hyena teeth to ward the youths off. To thank him for his kindness Mr McNumpty invited him in for a drink and to play dominoes. This quickly became a daily routine and Mr McNumpty soon became a familiar face in the Bold's house, having apologised for always being rude and grumpy with them, ever since knowing them. He knew there was something fishy about them after one day seeing a tail attached to the young Betty's behind. He didn't know they were hyenas though until they confessed. He also had a dark secret though, he was a grizzly bear! This was a total shock, although I myself, had had my suspicions as he had left out clues which the children didn't pick up on, so they were flummoxed when they found out. It was absolutely brilliant, I haven't stopped talking about this book. Hats off to Julian Clary and David Robert's illustrations are stunning.
The book was hilarious from start to finish and I will definitely be reading more of these now that I've discovered there are more.
The children laughed throughout and found it very funny whenever the word bottom was mentioned.
"I think we should give the book 5 stars because it was silly and funny because it had lots of jokes in it and they were funny. The twins were bouncing around a lot. One of my favourite parts was the bit when the tail got shown in the back garden and Mr McNumpty saw it." KC aged 7
"My favourite part was when the hyenas were rubbing their bottoms on the plants because I've never seen a hyena do that before." HW aged 6
"I liked it because there were animals pretending to be humans and that's quite funny." TD aged 6
"I liked the book because I liked Mr Bold's jokes and this was my favourite: Why did the toilet paper roll down the hill? To get to the bottom." H aged 7
"I would give the story 5 stars because it had a lot of jokes, I love funny stuff. I liked the part where the hyena wiped their bottoms on plants, I found that extremely funny and I liked how the animals tried to be humans and they talked lots of English. My favourite character was Mr McNumpty because I liked how he was a bear, I love bears and I quite surprised because I thought he was a real human." AD aged 7
"I liked the book because I liked it when Mr McNumpty likes the Bolds' and they had loads of fun." AL aged 7
"I liked when each of the hyena family dug the tunnel and Mr Bold told a joke when the eyes were peaking through. I liked that they got Tony back to their house and Mr McNumpty got confused everyday when they were coming home covered in mud. My favourite character was Miranda the monkey because I liked her the best and how the twins were pushing her and she was saying 'baby baby' That was funny." GS aged 6
"I liked that story because my favourite animals are hyenas. My favourite part was when the babboons showed their bottoms and I liked the story because everytime I read a funny story it reminds me of when you are in places and you hear people laughing." IS aged 7
All of the children liked that there were pictures to look at, especially the ones where the animals showed their bottoms. They couldn't stop laughing at that part.