The Accidental Prime Minister Returns / Roald Dahl Rotsome & Repulsant Words

Books that make us laugh are much needed at the moment: here are two such, sent for review by Oxford University Press

The Accidental Prime Minister Returns
Tom McLaughlin

Do I detect a touch of irony in this title? Perhaps the return of Joe who found fame by accidentally becoming Prime Minister while trying to save his local park, knew just when he’d be needed again. Now, I defy you to get through even one chapter of this new story without splitting your sides with sniggering snuffling laughs and ginormous guffaws, let alone wait till chapter four.

Who better than Joe (aka your Primeministerness) to bring back a bit of cheer? So here he is – the perfect counter to all the current doom and gloom – at the ready to remind the populace of life’s good things, and how they can all do their bit to make our great country (or rather, tiny island) and the world, a better place in which to live.

With his entourage, that’s best pal, Ajay dubbed ‘an all round absolute dude, and Alice, democracy’s most mega enthusiast (also a total dude), not to mention Mr Rottweiler (a useful ally?) who else could possibly get our vote. (He’s even got the right colour hair – almost!)

With its healthy herbal juice, spare false eyelashes and an absolute wealth of shenanigans, book seven, laying bare the ups and downs of political life, could not have come at a more apt time. Bring on the ‘coal addition’ – right now!

Delicious daftness of a different kind in:

Roald Dahl Rotsome & Repulsant Words
illustrated by Quentin Blake

Roald Dahl was a prolific inventor of rude words. He used some incredibly adroit putdowns and curses, insults and expletive forms.

Now, thanks to editor and lexicographer Dr Susan Rennie, they’ve all been brought together into this collection of naughty-sounding words that will absolutely delight any child (and probably adult) who gets their hands on a copy of Rotsome & Repulsant Words. (my spell check is NOT happy!)

So, if you want to try creating your very own ‘gigantuous’ curse word, there’s a spread to show you how. Or perhaps you’d rather become ‘as Grumpy as a Grandma’ then you can find out how so to do.

I have to say I rather enjoyed the ‘How to be rude in other languages (so grown-ups won’t notice).’ It doesn’t always hold true however: I can recall several occasions when teaching reception and nursery age children, hearing extremely insulting words (meaning much worse things than the examples in this book) coming from the role play area, spoken by children not knowing that their teacher could understand their Hindi, Urdu, Panjabi etc.

Naturally children will relish the collecting of ‘bottom’ words and even more so, those relating to sounds that emanate from same.

There are some smashing onomatopoeic examples here including the Spanish ‘popotraques’ and the Scots ‘rummlypumps’.

Think of the fun you might have in a group discussing ‘swatchwallop’ (the most disgusting thing you can eat. An opportunity for some more creative word inventions methinks. Think too of the wealth of language lessons you could enliven using this with your class.

Whether or not you’re a Dahl fan, I’m pretty sure you’ll relish this little linguistic goldmine, especially with those Quentin Blake illustrations.

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