Katie: The Revolting Holiday by Mary Hooper
|Katie: The Revolting Holiday by Mary Hooper|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: A light, short and funny, quick read from Katie "revolting" series for girls newly confident in their reading abilities, particularly suited to slightly older reluctant readers.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 96||Date: May 2008|
|Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
Katie, her mum, her sister and her sister's baby are going to a holiday camp. Katie doesn't feel it's very fair as after all, it's thanks to her that baby Emily won the photo competition, and she wanted to go to Disneyland! To make matters worse, the insufferable Mrs Bayleaf of After Six Continental and Cruise Wear, Katie's sister's mother in law is coming with them.
Still, it's better to make the best of the whole situation and Katie is determined to enjoy herself. After all, nobody needs to know that she joined the Kids Klub so her street cred won't suffer too much damage. And when she discovers that all the Kids Klubbers are in awe of a very, very annoying girl called Antonia who, together with her whole family, is determined to win every single competition in the camp, Katie decides to pit her own considerable talents against the saintly Antonia and the rest of her clan. Even Mrs Bayleaf might be of some use.
Katie's narrative is amusing and the description of the holiday camp and the competitions (including Large & Beautiful, Glamorous Granny, hat making and Little Holiday Princess) suitably cringe-worthy. As with the previous Katie books, the humour in this one relies on the contrast between a 'cool teen' and revoltingly uncool situations the teen finds herself in (and despite the coolness, somehow becomes engaged in).
Holiday camps (and their competitions), being almost by definition the epitome of the deeply uncool (not only for aspirational young girls), provide rich picking grounds for such humour. Still, I found The Revolting Holiday slightly less funny than the previous book called The Revolting Baby but, more to the point, my 7 year old didn't seem to 'get it' at all. This mismatch between the relative social sophistication of the humour and the age of the intended audience is my main problem with The Revolting Holiday (or maybe I just have a very unworldywise 7 year old). Children that age would find some things funny (the baby with the log, the way Katie manges to persuade Mrs Bayleaf to enter a dress-up competition as a plate of spinach and so on), but I felt that quite a few of the jokes were more suited to adult or teen readership, not to actual new readers aged 6 to 8.
Still, Katie: the Revolting Holiday is a short, funny read and it should entertain without posing particular challenges. It would be most suitable for slightly older girls who are reluctant readers, as the page count is below 100 and there are quite a few illustrations and some variation in the text (for example Katie's dairy).
If this type of a book appeals, you'll like the Ruby Rogers' books which are also funny but have slightly richer psychology and characters. Tell Me About It! has Ruby on holiday (and also meeting a rather annoying girl).
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