Saturday, January 21, 2012
Bernice Knows Best by Max Dann
By the time he was eight his house had caught fire twelve times, the plumbing had stopped working, the garage door had stuck and wouldn't open again, the bath had sprung a leak, all the chairs had collapsed, the chain on his bicycle wouldn't stop breaking, and his Dad's begonias didn't look so good.
"Why me? Why me? Why me? he'd ask. But nobody answered him.
You see Hugh is accident-prone, steaming- rolling his way to destruction like a mobile demolition team wherever he goes. Hugh has no friends, no-one visits the house. Enter Bernice, she is clever and vivacious and, unlike members of his family, doesn't feel the need to wear a safety helmet around Hugh. She puts him on a regime designed to cure his clumsiness. Then one day Hugh accidentally finds himself in a big bicycle race, and discovers that Bernice's bizarre exercises have given him the edge. Is he finally going to do something right?
True to Max Dunn style, this humorous little story zips along and the accompanying illustrations by Ann James with the very comical expressions of a wide cast of eccentric characters making it all the more enjoyable. If you are after a relatively quick, funny read, this may be the book you are looking for. Dusting in Love, another book by Dunn, but a slightly more challenging read, is also available in the Little Library of Rescued Books for borrowing.