14th July '16
What a fab book! I read this to my Year two class and they were totally hooked. Initially I read it first to check that it was suitable for them to hear and was pleasantly surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it myself. I particularly liked how quick it is to get through the book. I read many books myself and am one of those readers that has a never ending 'to-read' list so to finish it so quickly was refreshing as it was such an easy read, and that left me time to start a new one!
My class found it hilarious, the laughed throughout and have since re-read it independently on a number of occasions. I love how it flows so smoothly and although there aren't any 'official' chapters, it has headed pages every so often which we used to take breaks between reading. It took us about 6 sessions to read this book and they were all sad when it ended. When reading it independently they loved the little ant in the bottom right-hand corner and enjoyed flicking the pages to watch the ant move and dance. They found this very amusing, as I found it clever and a welcome change to most books we've read. The cover was what encouraged me to buy this book, it was bold, bright, interesting and welcoming. It was jam packed with doodles and looked an exciting read. I wasn't expecting to enjoy the book as much as I did personally and I loved the font inside with doodles and changes in bold, italic and capitals. The children thoroughly enjoyed this too as it went against all of the rules of writing that we experience in school.
The book follows a character called Tom Gates who is in year 5 at school, some of the children have siblings in year 5 and enjoyed being able to relate to the antics that occurred during the story. It is a collection of all of Tom's most genius ideas, things like hiding that you are sketching during a lesson by surrounding yourself with many books, faking late notes and How to be the first in the dinner queue.
Tom is a funny and cheeky character who is always trying to find shortcuts to do things. He has an ambition to become a singer and has his own band with his friends. He is easily embarassed and likes to wind people up, especially his elder sister and a boy in his class.
Although the book has many ways to 'cheat' and 'annoy' I have not experienced any mimicked actions due to reading it to such a young age group which I am thankful of. The easy language and amount of words per page kept the children fully engaged throughout. I'd definitely recommend this book to others.
My friends children actually recommended the series of Tom Gates books to me as they were not big readers until this series came out and as soon as they could get their hands on the newest book they did, I wondered what all the fuss was about and was most delighted when I read it myself. I'd continue the collection most definitely.