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Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers by John Dougherty is the first book in the Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face books, of which there are currently three available in paperback (£4.99 for all three currently at The Book People if you are in the UK).

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I have reviewed the second and third books here on the blog, and was very excited to read the first one in the series. I LOVE these books, and actually, the first one is my favourite. It has all the same ingredients of the second two books, naughty badgers who like to tip over dustbins, scare chickens and drive too fast, a totally insane king who is also his own butler and lives in a thatched castle with a cat as his entire army, and two slightly grubby children who are wildly heroic on a very domestic scale.

If you like a beautifully surreal story with a bonkers adventure, some excellent characters and some very funny bits in, then this is the book for you. Dougherty’s crisp story telling and lovely dialogue is complemented beautifully by David Tazzyman’s fabulous illustrations.

The chapters are short and pithy. The jokes come thick and fast. The books are fantastic for children aged seven to ten, particularly those children who are transitioning from picture books to novels and need a half way house. I’d recommend them for reluctant readers as they are easy to finish and will give children a real sense of accomplishment.

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