My Funny Family On Holiday: Chris Higgins & Lee Wildish (Hodder Children’s Books, 2013)
Warning: contains spoilers!
This is an early reader chapter book aimed at 5+ (although I’d say 7 for most children to read themselves, probably a read aloud earlier than that) about a larger than average family going on holiday told from the viewpoint of second-eldest child Mattie, who is nine.
It’s the second in a series and I’ve not read the first but that wasn’t necessary as all the characters were described and explained in the early pages. I thought it was a wonderful story for young readers containing lots of things that they’ll either be familiar with or could learn about. It’s nicely written, not overly complex and has enough happening to remain entertaining.
For me, it fell apart at the end with the reveal of Mattie’s friend being a ghost. It just seemed so out of place in the story, but maybe for very young readers it might be an exciting reveal. I love fantasy, it’s my favourite genre, but I never think it works tacked on to the end of a book. If the fantastical is there throughout, bubbling under, then fair enough, but this didn’t seem the case to me.
I realise I am completely over-analysing a book that I’m thirty years too old for, but a more literal child who was expecting a story about a holiday may not enjoy the addition of a ghost character either! Otherwise, an excellent book for young readers and one I’m sure my daughters’ school will be glad to receive.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of My Funny Family on Holiday by Hachette. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.
Note: We are fortunate to receive a variety of review books, far too many to keep! Most of the chapter books and novels, plus about half of the picture books, are donated to either my daughters’ primary school or a local charity.