Book Review: 'THE PARENT AGENCY', by David Baddiel.
Published by Harper Collins, 'The Parent Agency' is the first children's book written by well-know TV personality David Baddiel. The hardback copy comes with a striking bright red, gold foil stamped slipcover, and consists of 384 pages.
The story itself has a very interesting premise. Barry is rather fed up of his parents. He finds them boring. They are strict. They never have enough money to buy the things he likes. They dote on his irritating twin sisters, who NEVER get told off. He even hates it that they named him Barry. Sent to his room for voicing his grievances, he finds himself transported to an alternate reality. There he visits 'The Parent Agency'. He is given a '5 Day Parent Trial Package' with 5 different sets of new parents. His remit? To choose new parents. Their remit? To give him a 10th birthday party to remember to help him decide which parents to choose.
The story will be very appealing to children. The text contains witty word play and fabulous illustrations by Jim Field, which enhance the humour. The author does push it with some very cringe worthy instances of toilet humour that seem forced and unnecessary. However, this book is intended for adolescents, containing the sophomoric humour of modern-day kids, so that is not likely to affect their enjoyment. Additionally, although the ending is very predictable, this is one of those books where the fun is to be had in the journey. Overall, a really engaging and funny book, with the key message: Be careful what you wish for!