“You’re Called What?!”

“You’re Called What?!”
Kes Gray and Nikki Dyson
Macmillan Children’s Books

Spluttersome delight is guaranteed in the latest of Kes Gray’s comic outpourings.

He takes us to the Ministry of Silly Names where there’s a queue of weird and wonderful creatures all intent on changing their monikers.

As each one reaches the counter and reveals what it’s called: Cockapoo, Monkeyface Pricklebat, Pink Fairy Armadillo, Blue-Footed Booby,(thanks to Jonny Lambert I’d heard of that one) Ice Cream Cone Worm,

Shovelnose Guitarfish, Blobfish

and yes, Bone-Eating Snot Flower Worm … the hoots of laughter from those behind get ever louder (and longer), in tandem, if my experience is anything to go by, with those of listeners.

Nikki Dyson’s hilarious portrayal of each animal with its peeved, or perhaps acquiescent countenance, is rib-ticklingly funny; but perhaps the best bit of all – no make that the second best bit – is the discovery that each and every one of these animals actually exists.

The funniest bit, at least for me, is when the final creature, the Aha Ha Wasp announces what its new name is to be.

Revealing this would most definitely spoil the fun so you’ll just have to lay your paws, feelers, fins or other appropriate appendages on a copy of the book pronto.

With its impeccable comic timing, this one’s beyond priceless, probably as much so as the author’s Oi Frog! and if your audience’s love of language isn’t boosted 100% after hearing the story, then I’m off to stick my head under the frill of that Tasselled Wobbegong.

I might have to do that anyway: one read aloud, with all those ‘HA HA’s, has left me utterly exhausted.

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