The Porridge of Knowledge by Archie Kimpton and Kate Hindley

What would you do if you discovered a recipe for porridge that could make you super smart?  Would you cook some up and eat it or would you throw it away thinking it was some silly joke?  What if it really did work and you suddenly knew incredible things? Would you use your super-smarts for good or evil?  This is the connundrum that Milk finds herself in when she discovers the Porridge of Knowledge in the new book from Archie Kimpton and Kate Hindley.

The Porridge of Knowledge by Archie KimptonMilk lives in the grubby seaside town of Slopp-on-Sea – a rubbish name for a rubbish town. But Milk’s life is pretty rubbish too, so it fits. She loves her Granddad, but nowadays he’s always wandering off somewhere, or asking her befuddled questions. Then one day, he comes back from one of his jaunts with a battered book in his hand containing a recipe for THE PORRIDGE OF KNOWLEDGE.

Intrigued, Milk enlists the help of her friend Carp to try the recipe. At first it looks like all they’ve managed to create is a lump of malodorous goo – but then they notice the ants (who have been nibbling the porridge) building a mashed potato replica of the leaning tower of Pisa… So they decide to try it out on themselves. And the results are incredible! Suddenly Milk and Carp are the cleverest people in town – and Granddad is back to his normal self. Milk and Carp are about to discover that sometimes a little bit of knowledge goes a long way…

The Porridge of Knowledge is a delightfully silly story with a cast of characters that will both make you laugh and cringe.  It’s a hugely entertaining story, with a great mixture of adventure, silliness, and plenty of laughs.  If you’re looking for the perfect read aloud for your kids, whether they’re 7 or 12, The Porridge of Knowledge is that book.

There are so many things to love about this book but the thing I loved most was Archie’s characters.  The people who live in Slopp-on-Sea sure are an interesting bunch, from the loveable main character Milk and her batty Grandad, to Jarvis the world’s worst cook and the slimey Malcolm Blanket.  My favourite character is Ms Cerise, Milk’s incredibly cruel and horrible teacher.  Not since Ms. Trunchbull in Roald Dahl’s Matilda have I meet a teacher so completely horrible to children!  Not only does she think her students are stupid, she tells them to their face.  She embarrasses and humiliates her students at every opportunity and she has a serious issue with stealing.  Ms. Cerise is just one of the characters in The Porridge of Knowledge who you hope will get their comeuppance big time!

Archie Kimpton and Kate Hindley are a dream team.  Kate’s illustrations bring Archie’s wonderful story and characters to life and they add an extra dash of humour.  I love illustrated books for older children and this is a great example.

If you like Roald Dahl and David Walliams you need to read The Porridge of Knowledge. I’m certainly going to search out Archie and Kate’s first book, Jumble Cat, and I’ll eagerly await their next book. Let’s hope they join forces for many more books.  Thanks to the marvellous Hot Key Books for publishing such a wonderful book.

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