Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Quirky Tales - Paul Jennings (1987)

4 stars

I found my old copy of this and was compelled to read it. As a child, I loved Paul Jennings and I still do. I remember teachers and librarians reading the class extracts to get us interested in reading. This is the first Jennings book I bought and led me to amass a considerable collection. His short stories are very clever, they are designed for the kids who hate reading - short and punchy. But reading them now, there are a lot of  nuances that I never noticed as a kid.

It had nine short stories:

Sneeze'n coffin
A girl's undertaker stepfather brings home a corpse.

Santa Claws
A boy saves the life of a Santa Claus that has claws for fingernails (for climbing chimneys) that gives him and his siblings two wishes each. 

A Dozen Bloomin' Roses
A boy buys flowers for the girl he likes, and when she does nothing when she is bullied, he is killed and then his flowers grow from her hand.
Tonsil Eye 'Tis
A boy is given a gnome with a little face in its mouth. The face attaches itself to his tonsil and an eye appears on his finger.

Unhappily Ever After
A sadistic principal goes for a boat ride and is sucked into a whirlpool, and what he has done to others is done to him.

Spooks Incorporated
Two boys pretend to be ghosts to convince owners to sell their 'haunted' houses. 

The Copy
A boy's inventor friend designs a machine that can copy anything, even a person.

Stuffed
A boy takes revenge on a man who kills and stuffs cane toads and sells them to tourists.

No is Yes
A girl is locked up in her house her whole life, being taught words with opposite meaning.

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