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What's For Dinner Mr Gum?    by Andy Stanton & David Tazzyman order for
What's For Dinner Mr Gum?
by Andy Stanton
Order:  USA  Can
Egmont, 2014 (2014)
Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's another deliciously weird title in the zany series of Mr Gum chapter books created by a slightly deranged English writer named Andy Stanton. In this madcap adventure the village of Lamonic Bibber is split asunder by a terrible conflict dubbed The Dinnertime Wars.

This village wide food fight is set off when Mr Gum throws over his usual provider of food, Billy William the Third, and chows down at Greasy Ian's House of Slops. As the author reminds us, 'The tiniest disagreements spiral out of control', and that's precisely what occurs here.

Feeling betrayed, Billy Williams, the village butcher, launches a few bones and some fresh entrails at Mr Gunn, Greasy Ian and Philip the Horror, Ian's pet monkey. They respond in kind and the war is on. Disgusted by this turn of events, the residents of Lamonic Bibber are ready to move out as the flying food turns the bucolic village into a smelly garbage dump.

Fortunately total disaster is adverted when a little village girl named Polly, Friday O'Leary (Polly's elderly gentleman) and Alan Taylor, a diminutive gingerbread man, hatch a clever plan to end the ridiculous hostilities. They'll have to travel to Olde London Town, where Alan was once a cab driver, and convince the beautiful butcher, Thora Gruntwinkle, to leave her shop and lend them a hand in bring the Dinnertime Wars to an end.

This outrageous series featuring the residents of Lamonic Bibber is just silly and gross enough to keep even the most reluctant reader glued to the page. Yes, the humor is extremely sophomoric (perhaps just plain moronic is more accurate!) but that's very appealing to a certain age group.

Although I'm not sure I want to admit this, but, actually, once into this tale, there were instances where I found it quite amusing. Stanton slips a few brilliant tidbits in here which I certainly think are intended for an older audience. At least that's my theory and I'm sticking to it! So, if you want to rationalize reading this novel, just tell your youngster you are checking out the adult bits!

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