Imagine that you are a kid that can’t stand animals of any kind. You hate the smell of them, the way they eat their food, the way they look at you with their beady eyes and the sound that they make. Your family love each and every type of animal though and you’re forced to live side-by-side with them. Your worst nightmare would be to actually be an animal. Now, imagine that you woke up one morning, not in your own bed, but in a mud puddle as a pig, or very low to the ground as a tortoise. You would want to try anything you could to become human again. This is exactly the situation that Malcolm finds himself in in David Baddiel’s laugh-out-loud new book, AniMalcolm.
Malcolm doesn’t like animals. Which is a problem because his family love them. Their house is full of pets. What the house is NOT full of is stuff Malcolm likes. Such as the laptop he wanted for his birthday.The only bright spot on the horizon is the Year Six school trip, which Malcolm never thought his parents would pay for. And yet there he is, on the bus, heading to… oh no. A farm. Over the next days, Malcolm changes. He learns a lot about animals. More, in many ways, than he would like. He learns what it’s really like to be an animal. A whole series of animals, in fact…It does make him think differently. And speak differently. And eat differently. And, um, smell differently. But will he end up the same as before? Because sometimes the hardest thing to become is… yourself.
AniMalcolm is a hilarious story about a boy who doesn’t like animals finding himself in a very strange situation. He gets turned into an assortment of different animals and gets a completely different perspective of them. Whether you love animals or hate them, this is a story for you.
The thing I love the most about AniMalcolm is the range of characters. Each of the animals that Malcolm meets has a distinct personality. There are the two tortoises, Benny and Bjornita who are always complaining about how fast everyone moves, three sheep who repeat each other called Dolly 1, Dolly 2 and Dolly 3, Ludwig the pig who can speak most of the ‘malanguages (animal languages) and Chinny the Argentinian Chinchilla. The conversations between some of these characters made me crack up.
The wonderful Jim Field has illustrated this book, as well as David’s previous books. Jim’s style of illustration perfectly suits David’s books. He really brings David’s characters alive. I especially love how he has made each of the animals that Malcolm turns into look like Malcolm’s human self.
AniMalcolm is perfect for any kid who loves funny stories, especially fans of David Walliams. If you haven’t read any of David Baddiel’s books grab AniMalcolm and you’ll be hooked on his books.