In need of some chuckles? The Worst Class in the World by Joanna Nadin is the perfect pick-me-up for dark January days. As the exuberant front cover suggests, we’re in for some fun and mayhem with a rather challenging bunch of school kids, in this case, the irrepressible 4B from St Regina’s primary school. Previously on the naughty step for such incidents as trying to tunnel under the playground to Finland, and smuggling a penguin onto the school bus, here we join them as they aspire to become young entrepreneurs and Show and Tell champions.
Stanley Bradshaw is our cheery narrator, and together with best friend Manjit, at the very heart of an unfolding ‘Biscuit King’ saga. Like many anti-fun educational establishments, St Regina’s permits only one piece of fruit and a ‘nutritious’ snack at playtime, a state of affairs which surely calls for some baked goods black marketeering. The entrepreneurial spirit is sparked in Stanley and Manjit as they decide to produce and sell their own delicious, deluxe biscuits at pocket money prices. In no time at all they’ll be playground tycoons and Biscuit Kings! After all, their headteacher is always banging on about ‘excelling.’ Armed with four different food colourings, butter from the back of the fridge, and a bottle of syrup they hope is maple but later turns out to be of the mentholated cough variety, they set to work.
As events take a turn for the unexpected, the rest of Class 4B are drawn into a rib-tickling drama, the competitive high-jinks continuing in a second story involving the bane of every parent’s life, a Show and Tell session.
This wonderfully silly book will make you laugh loudly and feel extreme sympathy for beleaguered class teacher, Mr Nidgett, often to be found contemplating alternative careers after a day in the company of 4B.
The Worst Class in the World by Joanna Nadin is published by Bloomsbury’s Children’s Books, 160 pages.