Charlie is just a normal kid. Nothing unusual about him, apart from his tendency to turn into a spider, a bird or a rhino in times of high stress. Understandably, Charlie finds it challenging to set off for the Headmistress's office and find en route he's suddenly an in-demand pigeon attempting to defend his virtue from various feathery suitors with ridiculous French accents. How long can this go on? What if he transforms into a beast when starring as Sad Potato no 1 in this year's school play, The Veg of Reason? Why, that would be a disaster!
Fortunately, Charlie has a pleasingly diverse group of mates on his side. Led by the engaging Flora, who is both geeky and reckless, our heroes hatch a variety of increasingly ludicrous and dangerous plans, none of which really help, but all of which are very funny.
Excellent dialogue which sounds like real children, an arch-nemesis who has seen too many Bond films, and delightfully expressive illustrations by the talented Sarah Horne. There's real heart to this story, which also tackles some difficult issues with an impressively light touch. I'm going to love selling this brilliantly funny book. Just the job if you're trying to move your kid on from David Walliams. 8+
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