Tag Archives: Andy Griffiths

Big Fat Cows by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton


bigfatcowscoverBig Fat Cows by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, board book, published by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd in 2014.

A hardy board book great for little hands, Big Fat Cows has been a hit with my toddlers (and their sisters, and their dad, and me…). It is funny and silly and reminds me of Where is the Green Sheep?, one of our favourites. The story is ridiculous in the best possible way, and it rhymes, sounding great read aloud. The illustrations are humourous, with plenty to look at and discover without being too overwhelming for the littlies. My kids have enjoyed seeing what each cow is doing, and they very much like the last page! I like the mixed-up cow and the milk carton shaped space ship myself.

Big Fat Cows is most suitable for toddlers and preschoolers, though it really has a much wider appeal. I highly recommend this book to share with your youngsters!


Just Tricking by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton


IMG_0830Just Tricking by Andy Griffiths and illustrated by Terry Denton, paperback, 137 pages, first published by Reed Books Australia in 1997, this edition published by Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd in 1999 (printed in 2004).

A collection of ten short stories by the wildly popular pair, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, this book is aimed at making kids laugh. It is no literary masterpiece, but boy did it make my second grader cry with mirth! And she has read it and re-read it, with no less enjoyment each time. We have had parts of this book related to us, through giggles and guffaws, so finally I decided I needed to read this book for myself.

The book is set out like an easy novel, with each chapter containing a separate story about mischief and jokester behaviour. Some of the stories were funny, but a few were just gross, like the slug milkshake. Just Tricking is great for kids who want some comedy in their reading adventures, and especially for those with a penchant for practical jokes. The short story format is good for kids just starting to read novels too. They can have the satisfaction of reading a complete story without it being too overwhelming, while working their way through a novel length book.

On every page, surrounding the text, were numerous pencil drawings, diagrams, advice and short anecdotes. I found these to be quite a distraction, and somewhat annoying, rather than funny, as I assume they were meant to be. My second grader said she mostly ignored the illustrations, just looking at them separate to reading the story. If I had left them to the end of each story, I too would have found them less irritating, though still not all that amusing. I think the book would have been more enjoyable with less illustrations and less additional text in the margins.

There were also a couple of times that I thought the content was a tad inappropriate for my seven year old, but these moments passed over her head with little thought put towards them. There were also a few references to things, such as to the game Mortal Kombat, that she didn’t understand, but these did not diminish her experience of this book. My husband says I’m just being prudish! Perhaps he’s right, but I still think this book would be better for slightly older kids, in middle to upper primary school. My daughter has borrowed some of the other books in this series to read, such as Just Shocking and Just Disgusting, enjoying them with equal enthusiasm. These don’t appeal to me much as an adult, but would I like them if I were a child in primary school? Yes, probably, just as much as my daughter has enjoyed them. She loves Just Tricking, and I can see that it will be read many more times, because this book is perfect for reading for fun.



The 39-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton


IMG_3581The 39-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, paperback, 344 pages, published by Pan Macmillan in 2013.

Following on from The 26-Storey Treehouse, Andy and Terry have added another 13 storeys to their amazing treehouse. There is a bowling alley, a tank of man-eating sharks and an active non-erupting volcano, but the 39th level is still under construction.  The boys are writing their next book when they get a call on their 3D telephone from Mr. Big Nose, who imposes a ridiculous deadline of the following afternoon for the new book. How can Andy and Terry write and illustrate a long book in such a short time, as long books take longer to write than short books, which take a shorter time to write than long books…. Well, Terry has the answer, on the 39th level his new invention will do the writing and illustrating for them. But when the machine thinks it can do a better job at writing books than Andy and Terry, things get out of hand. They have to regain control of their treehouse and their book, and what better way to do that than invite Professor Stupido, the greatest un-inventor ever to live, to un-invent Terry’s machine, but what if Professor Stupido doesn’t want to stop there?

This book is a crazy ride of the imagination, where anything and everything is possible, and will probably happen! A very amusing book for lower to middle primary aged students and above, it really does have laugh out loud moments, and my first grader thought it was hilarious. She read it several times over the weekend, as it is a pretty easy read, despite its length. The text is simple, large and heavily interspersed with amusing black and white illustrations. I think this would be a good book for a reluctant reader.