Friday 13 February 2015

Book Review: Tom Gates Extra Special Treats (not) by L.Pichon

Tom Gates: Extra Special Treats ( . . . not) (Tom Gates, #6)
This is a star pupil badge. It's not mine, it belongs to Marcus Meldrew. I found it under my desk and picked it up. He hasn't noticed it's gone yet. The badge must have fallen off his jumper. I am going to give it back to him (eventually).
Published by Scholastic in October 2014
It's really cold outside and we're all hoping it's going to snow. Yeah! Derek and I could make a snow Rooster and have a snowball fight (look out, Delia!). Granny Mavis has started to knit me a new winter jumper, but by the looks of things I'm not sure it's going to fit. . .
When it comes to looking at the hierarchy in UKMG, I can't help but think Tom Gates should at least be the crown prince. He is an extremely well loved character among  the Middle Graders not to mention having an army of adult fans. Every book that is published, is devoured by readers, who are usually left desperate for another adventure by the end.  Following in the footsteps of the Americans, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom shows the world that the UK can write just as funny and lovable characters as the US can.
You may think this series would only appeal to boys, but I can assure you that girls will love it too. I know this, being a girl!
Reading a Tom Gates book, is like cracking open a piñata; you never really know what you will get inside it and it hits you all at once. Jam packed with illustrations, drawn by the author herself, along with hilarious episodic events in Tom's life, you can not love these books. 
In this book, we find Tom absolutely desperate to get a star pupil badge from his teacher, Mr Fullerman. He will do anything to get one. However life doesn't like to hand us the things we want with ease, so we can only watch as Tom struggles with getting his homework done, coping with the invasion of his rather snobbish relatives and dealing with the sudden arrival of snow in his quest to be crowned a star pupil.  Tom deals with most of the events thrown at him with a laid back attitude and you can't help but love him for it.
 I love all the characters in these books. They all seem to shine out on the page and yet have that familiar and comfortable feel to them. Of course, this is helped by Liz Pichon's amazing illustrations, so we know exactly what these characters look like.
I think one of the best things I love about this book, is that it is so real to life. The events aren't over dramatic, they are your normal day to day family dramas, only the author has added her own touches of side splitting humour.
I'm not surprised this series has won so many awards, (including the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Waterstones Children's Book Prize) as  it really is a delight to read. It reminds me a lot of the Dandy and Beano annuals I used to read as a child.
This series would be ideal for any reluctant reader as it is quick and easy to read with so much to look at.  I would be seriously surprised if the reader wasn't instantly drawn into Tom's comical adventures.
There are a whole range of Tom Gates books to read and I don't think you need to start from the beginning of the series to enjoy them.
Excellent Excuses [and Other Good Stuff] (Tom Gates, #2)Everything's Amazing [sort of] (Tom Gates, #3)
Genius Ideas [Mostly] (Tom Gates, #4)


  1. E (9) came home from school yesterday with the first Tom Gates book. He said a friend recommended it when they took their weekly trip to the school's library and on the way home from school, E was already at least 1/3 of the way finished with the book. He said about it that it's even funnier than Diary of A Wimpy Kid (his previous favourite series!) and while Wimpy Kid had smaller, funny bits spread out through the books, Tom Gates has BIG, FUNNY bits on almost every page. New favourite! This morning, he's telling me not so subtley that the entire Tom Gates book collection would be great to have, wouldn't it? Hint taken. :)

  2. I think he has made a superb choice!

  3. I loved this book i got om my 'shelf' and just love the Tom Gates seris.