You're a Bad Man Mr Gum is the first outing for Andy Stanton's disgusting character that children will love to hate. Mr Gum is a filthy loner who picks his nose and lives in a horrible house - loathed and feared by children. In this story Mr Gum is forced to keep his garden spotless by a fairy and the plot revolves around his poisoning of a lovely dog, Jake, to prevent him from spoiling his garden. However, Polly comes to the rescue with some magic chocolate and some wonderful friends.
Young children who are discovering their reading skills will enjoy this book as it is full of baddies and goodies that they will get totally involved with. Some parents may deem this book too disgusting for young children, but in reality this is just the sort of naughty fun that kids love and parents should revel at being able to join in when reading this book with their youngsters.
The strength of You're a Bad Man Mr Gum is its amusing characters and deadpan delivery of funny lines and silly asides - in fact it made me laugh out loud a few times when reading it. Most of the fun, however, occurs in the first half of the book and the second half tells the story of how Jake the dog is saved. Even though I liked this book, the story is weak, even for a children's book, but there is enough to interest young readers all the way to the end.
You're a Bad Man Mr Gum is a really fun children's book in a very similar style to Roald Dahl's "The Twits" and "George's Marvellous Medicine" and contains very amusing illustrations to compliment the writing.
I would recommend this book as a gift to young children who enjoy books and would suggest that it may be a good story to interest reluctant young readers; it is most certainly a great way for children and parents to enjoy a story together.