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Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly)  is the fourth book in the perennially popular Tom Gates series by Liz Pichon.

Liz Pichon has found a winning formula, and is sticking to it.  I admit, that as an adult, I am now getting slightly tired of the Tom Gates books, but credit where credit is due, all the children I know still lap them up, and I get much kudos as school librarian for having read them.

They are an easy read. A competent and confident reader will finish one in a couple of hours.

In this volume, Tom’s class are being trained by Mr. Fullerman for sports day. Mr. Fullerman is determined that the class will not come last, like last year, and that they will beat his arch enemy on the teaching staff.  Tom and his band Dog Zombies are also down to play in the school talent show.

That’s really all there is to this book. The plots are always slender, but it is the characterisation, the jokes and the illustrations that really bring these books to life.

As always, in the back of the book there are things that you, as the reader can do.  Sometimes ‘Tom’ teaches you to draw certain things, or make a flick book. In this volume he teaches you to make a paper banger, like the one he uses in the book.

Brilliant for boys and girls from the age of six up. Gentle, funny and easy to read.