Bill the badger had found himself lost far from home. All of a sudden he was shoved into a stinky bag and thrown over someones shoulder, someone was kidnapping him. When he was finally set free he came to be standing in front of two very large women, women as tall as a bus, and with no necks. The women told him that he was going to become a fighter and that his first fight would be in two days. Oh, and he had to wear red shorts too.
Nearby four llama’s were wet, tired, hungry and nearly bald after they had been deceived into living on the best llama farm ever. Farmer McGloone only wanted the llama’s for their fur, but as they weren’t producing enough he had decided to kill them and make handbags, belts, and even pies out of them. This made the llama’s even more sad.
Walking nearby, Uncle Shawn, who happened to be an animal lover, noticed Bill’s paw prints, and from them he realised that Bill had been kidnapped. He decided to followed the human prints that were in the mud, to rescue him. He soon found himself on a farm, he decided he needed a plan to rescue Bill, then he noticed the llama’s and decided he needed a plan to save them too. Will Uncle Shawn’s plan work though?
Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure, is a book that will have children laughing out loud, with it’s hilarious, strange plot, and the even funnier black and white illustrations.
A.L. Kennedy writes in such a way that kids will find themselves hooked on the book. His word choices are definitely aimed to impress the youngsters, especially with his funny antidotes, and descriptions of the nasty McGloone family.
I can see this being a real hit with the kids.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book which I voluntarily reviewed
A sweet badger who only wants a nice quiet life, the four llamas who just want some good food and a nice holiday, the wretchedly horrible villains who do their best to make them suffer - and a quirky man passing through who decides to help... and that's the cast.
The McGroones are nicely nasty, no reasons or characterisation - they are just flat-out meanies. Luring the llamas to their farm on false pretences, intending to steal their wool, they also kidnap little Bill the badger for dog fighting.
Good thing Uncle Shawn, luckily passing through is at hand! With his dancing feet and a plan, can he save everyone and make the baddies pay?
What do you think? It's a perfect story for class reads and bedtimes, with black and white pictures on every page for early readers or young listeners. These are very funny to read in themselves. Very short chapters and I love the old-fashioned summaries under each chapter heading, a nice touch.
Nice sense of humour, very silly and pitched nicely at a primary audience.
Simply drawn characters, it's a quick tale of black and white good vs evil, in a familiar setting.
There could be further adventures with the group, and it would be nice to see more of the llamas' characters.
One for ages 5-9 in particular.
With thanks to Walker Books for the advance reading copy.
Our story begins when a lovely Badger minding his business is grabbed and shoved into a horrible smelly sack by a horrible, ugly fat human. The writing and descriptions were loosely reminiscent of Roald Dahls hilarious descriptions actually. Whilst Badger Bill is key to our story, much of this progresses through chapters to introduce some Llamas the nasty kidnappers are bothering - they are quite attached to their wool thank you very much, and of course you'll meet Uncle Shawn, an animal lover who doesn't even wear socks because he gave them to a squirrel to use as a sleeping bag!. Eventually each section gets tied together at the end to hopefully get Bill rescued.
Each chapter has some facts about creature quirks woven in, with some great drawings to match the tales - some of which have some fun labels to make it more interactive. This really helps to break up the text as well which is quite dense in some places so may be better suited to a slightly more experienced reader.
Some of the themes within are a little dark - Badger Bill for example isn't treated very nicely by his captors, and their intentions for him (from forcing him into fighting to being cooked in a pie) are cruel. This is handled well within the book to make it seem less intense, but it was upsetting regardless; I found this book to be quite hard hitting emotionally actually as an animal lover myself. Whilst I felt this advocated for animals well and really got the message across about being kind to all creatures, it may not suit all readers so is something to consider before buying - even some of the illustrations are sometimes sad, for example little tails sticking out of pies cooked by the nasty kidnappers.
I love Uncle Shawn and I hope more young readers become more exposed to books like this to encourage Uncle Bill like behaviour so that less little creatures like Badger Bill and the Llamas are poorly treated. A fun book, with a big message, I definitely recommend it.
This book was provided to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.