Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at
Thu Feb 13 20:37:47 EST 2003

--- jackie e stallcup <jstallcup at> wrote:
> I'm not going to have time to reply to everyone's
> posts today,
> unfortunately as I'm at school and dashing off to
> class, but I do have to
> say that I absolutely love the beginning of Morris
> Gleitzman's Bumface. 
> I like to read the first page to my students and
> watch all their faces as
> they go into shock.  "Did she just say what I
> thought she said?  Oh, she
> did!  She said it again!  This is a children's
> book????"

Yes, its great isn't it, up there with the first
paragraph of John Varley's "Steel Beach". I don't know
how well known Gleitzman is outside Oz, if he isn't
thats a pity as he writes books kids love, with great
humour, but he isn't afraid to tackle some
controversial issues such as refugees in "Boy
overboard" and homosexuality and AIDS in "two weeks
with the queen". For those without a copy I'll give
you the start of "Bumface"

"Angus Solomon", sighed Ms Lowry. "is that a penis
you've drawn in your exercise book?"
"No, Miss" he admitted, "It's a submarine"
Ms Lowrey nodded grimly. "I thought as much" she said
"Now stop wasting time and draw a penis like I asked
you to" she pointed to the one she had sdrawn on the

One author who is very popular with Oz kids, but not
yet here, is Andy Griffiths, best known for "The day
my bum when psycho" a book which takes toilet humour
to new levels.

People may be interested in viewing the book list for
the NSW Premier's Reading Challenge, a project for NSW
schools. The list is at

and is quite a good selection, there are lots I'd like
to add, but not much I'd take off, although it has
only one DWJ and 2 Dickens.


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