ISBN 10: 0008264082
Imprint: HarperCollins – GB
Sometimes I surprise myself. When I started reading this two nights ago I got halfway through and thought how enjoyable it is and that it reminds me so much of the marvellous Ronald Searle and his Nigel Molesworth books (albeit with far less anarchy), which I absolutely adored as a kid. Then lo and behold I finish the book last night and find two pages where Lauren Child thanks the friend who introduced her to the aforementioned and how they inspired the style of the book!
Hubert Horatio is one of the most highly intelligent children you will ever come across. He is also extremely gifted in many skills (let’s ignore such as tree-climbing and ikebana) but he is not in the least precocious. He is well-mannered, thoughtful, caring and above all, responsible which is extremely fortunate because his fabulously wealthy parents are complete twits who wouldn’t know responsible behaviour if they fell over it.
This first in the series comprehensively introduces us not only to HH but his extended family (on both sides) and also his secret place –the almost vacant lot next door where he is building a magnificent tree-house and having currant bun fights with his nemesis. But disaster is about to befall – the long-standing ‘For Sale’ sign on the collapsed house and yard has been replaced with a bold ‘Sold’. What will happen to Horatio’s special place now? Especially as he not yet save the wherewithal to buy the place himself – drama could be in store!
This is great fun and beautifully presented with, of course Lauren Child’s distinctive illustrations – busy woman!
Highly recommended for readers from around seven years upwards.