The Toilet Ghost is the first in the series of books about the adventures, misadventures and crazy day-to-day goings-on in Miss. Riley’s year two class at Wigglesbottom Primary School.
There’s lots going on in Miss. Riley’s year two class and not all of it is good. In fact much of it is rather frightening. Is the Toilet Ghost the reason that Gavin Ross has come back to class dripping wet? Can Miles McKay’s shoe really tell the future? And has the opening of Bobby Henderson’s mysterious Show and Tell box released an ancient curse that is causing a lot of unwanted itching? These mysteries need to be solved and quickly. Can class 2R come up with the answers…
Pamela Butchart is the Queen of primary school comedy and The Wigglesbottom Primary series are perfectly pitched for newly independent readers. With a recognisable setting and all too relatable events, Butchart has nailed the life of primary school children whose imaginations run wild and turn ordinary, everyday events into something much more dramatic and chaotic. Writing as a primary school teacher, it is the zany imaginations of children that make life at primary school so much fun. Who wouldn’t want to be in a class that mistakes problematic plumbing for a ghost, who are amazed by a magical shoe that is actually the work of a well-organised prankster and who believe an ancient curse is causing itching as opposed to some very literal ‘ants in the pants.’
I was crying with laughter from the start and I did not stop as Butchart delivers laugh after laugh after laugh; a child inexplicably returning from the toilets covered in water, the ‘I-had-an-accident’ clothes, the plans, the pranks, the unfortunate events, the poor teacher trying to keep a lid on things - this is life in a primary school at its hilarious best.
Accessible storytelling and a consistent model make these great, easy to follow reads. Children are quickly pulled into the action with an exciting, or more often, strange event and then things go off in all manner of crazy and wonderful directions as imaginations take over. By the end, all has been resolved, sensible explanations have been given and Miss. Riley’s class is back to some kind of normal, until next time.
The three short stories at approximately thirty pages each are guaranteed to keep young readers engaged and the lively illustrations, in shades of green, bring the school shenanigans to life. Crammed full of fun, silliness and awesome kids these are the kind of stories that ensure that children are reading for pleasure and will well and truly get kids ‘hooked on books’.
Recommended for 6+.