Publisher: Oxford University Press | Published 2nd April 2015 | Edition: Kindle (via Netgalley)
Light political hilarity for children? No, no, no, scrub that. This book’s got some serious sniggering material in it for all ages. Of course it’s all completely fictitious (like an eccentric, roller-skating Queen), but everyone can recognise most of the character traits and situations throughout – and I for one found it totally titter-worthy.
Firstly, let’s meet Joe Perkins, a hapless twelve year old with an extraordinary knack – for falling.
“He often fell, even when no falling was required. He was one of life’s great fallers. He fell into rooms, he fell out of them again….Joe’s life was a constant battle with gravity.”
Joe’s greatest achievement in life to date was, as the author so aptly puts it:
…putting his underwear on with his eyes shut was as close to living on the edge as Joe’s life got.
And yet, his life was about to hit the headlines – the current, grotesque Prime Minister of Great Britain, one Percival T Duckholm, is on schedule to pay a visit to Joe’s school.
The timing couldn’t be any worse, as Joe was so upset to learn that this great man of power is going to close down the park where his mum works. With his little voice from the back of the crowd, Joe tries to ask the PM why he’s doing this, but is swotted away like a fly. He just wants the PM to listen to what he has to say, that’s all. So, his little voice grows louder, and Joe keeps talking and talking and….the crowd roared! Of course, the PM doesn’t like being upstaged by a puny, snivelling little wretch.
Before he knows it, Joe’s become an internet media sensation – the You Tube clip showing him standing up to the many chinned Minister has gone viral – it’s a veritable modern day struggle of David and Goliath!
“JOE FOR PM,” his fans shout. He became so famous, a man even asked him to autograph a turnip, as he hadn’t any paper with him. But he’s just a boy who wears Postman Pat PJ’s (yes, he knows he’s too old but they’re comfy, ok?)
Soon Joe, his mum and his best friend (and media adviser), Ajay, are invited to No. 10 for talks. And somehow, some way, Joe Perkins finds his life turned upside down, as he surprised that he could soon be running the Country.
When asked about his policies, Joe simply wants MORE FUN FOR EVERYONE! But all-day-fun doesn’t come without its consequences and Joe realises that it’s not easy pleasing all the people, all of the time, especially other countries with their own squabbles. So, popularity doesn’t always get you everywhere and power struggles for No. 10 ensue – the grouchy Deputy Prime Minister, Violetta Crump, will do ANYTHING to snatch the PM’s job, at ANY cost.
Will Joe Perkins succeed in opening the park again? Can he negotiate to prevent a war? But most importantly, does he still wear Postman Pat PJ’s now he’s PM?
The answers to these vital questions can be found in this brilliant book by Tom McLaughlin. LOVED IT.
(As an older reader I enjoyed it immensely, so my sincere thanks go to the publisher for allowing me to download a copy from Netgalley.)
You can follow the author on Twitter: @_TomMcLaughlin | Publisher: OUPChildrens