Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed by Michael Rosen

uncle gobbYoung person! Yes, you! Put this book down IMMEDIATEY and do some homework! You must NOT read about my nephew Malcom and the city of Ponky and Genies and weasles and my DREAD SHED. There is nothing SENSIBLE in this book!

I am delighted to present you with the first review from my new Year 4 class. At the start of this academic year, Bloomsbury very kindly sent me a box of bookish treats, aimed at middle grade readers, and the children very quickly picked out Michael Rosen’s ‘Dread Shed’ to read first due to it’s captivating front cover and intriguing blurb. Any book that tells you ‘not to read it’ is sure to peak the interest of a 9 year old!

In the words of one particular child, ‘Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed’ is a hillariously random read that is sure to make you laugh out loud. As Michael Rosen states in the blurb, there really is nothing sensible in this book. Although many of the children found parts of the plot confusing, this somewhat added to the humour of the whole thing. The protagonist, Malcom, and his sidekick, Crackersnacker, have a mixture of character traits that all children love – cheeky, rude, dopey and sarcastic. My class particuarly enjoyed the scene at school where Malcom was unable to answer simple questions such as, “Billy’s hat is blue. What colour is Billy’s hat?”

Michael Rosen’s skill as a writer of funny fiction is to speak directly to the reader, for example through his comical chapter names,
“Chapter 19. Back at school: Malcom talking with Crackersnacker in the playground after school – and a surprise (It’s ok, It’s a good one).”
Rosen has the ability to make up words (such as confuzzled and bamboozled) that the children in my class have started to use in their everyday conversations. For example, in a maths lesson on expanded subtraction one child uttered the following, “Please can you explain that again. I am totaly confuzzled.”

The children loved that each chapter ended on a cliff hanger, and there would be groans galore when I stopped reading at the end of the day. ‘Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed’ is an unpredicatable, action packed read that is sure to make it’s readers laugh out loud.

Class rating: 4.5/5

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