Badness For Beginners

Ian Whybrow and Tony Ross

badness“Remember,” said Dad. “You must both be on your worst behaviour.”
In a nice smelly lair far away live the wolf family. Mum and Dad are very proud of being big and bad. They want to teach their cub, Little Wolf and Smellybreff, how to be big and bad like them.
But sometimes, lessons in Badness are not that simple…

My three year old seems to have a bit of a fascination with big, bad wolves at the moment so when I took her to the library she chose three books with wolves on the cover and this was one of them. I could tell from that front cover that this was the story that she would like best and so it has been!

The picture is of a graffiti-ed wall and Little Wolf sitting at the bottom covered in black paint whilst his brother, Smellybreff, sits at the top looking naughty with a couple of plates of food perched ready to drop on his brother. It is a perfect insight into Badness for Beginners as Mum and Dad Wolf strive to teach their little ones how to be truly naughty.

Much of the story is funny for young children as it turns on its head all those well used phrases we say to them, remember your manners, say please, don’t eat too much you’ll be sick! And so on. Smellybreff gets it straight away, but Little sometimes, shockingly, says thank you by mistake.

Mum and Dad take the young wolves out and on the way they scare people, make trip hazards and create a hole in a bridge, among other naughty things. Little is trying to impress his parents, but not quite hitting it! They go to a café and show appalling manners culminating in Smellybreff being sick and all of them getting thrown out. On the way home Mum trips on a trip hazard and knocks into Dad a hole in a bridge!!! The Little Wolves are excited about what their badness has brought about, Mum and Dad are rather quiet about it all! Need I say more!!

I had a good chuckle reading this and so did both my girls. The older one (nearly 6 years) really got it, the younger appreciated they were being naughty but did miss the point that it was their own badness that caused their downfall (literally!). But there was something in there for all of us to enjoy and the pictures helped tell the story and explain it to my little one.

Verdict: Brilliant naughty humour, a really fun read.
Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: May 2005
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Humour, Manners
Age:Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
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