Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables (Tim Harris, illus by James Hart, Random House)
The students of 12B aren’t quite sure what to make of their new teacher, Mr Bambuckle: he rides a unicycle, his cousin is an Icelandic rock star, and he keeps soup in his pockets. But the thing that really sets Mr Bambuckle apart from all the other teachers is that his lessons are actually interesting. Thanks to the unusual tutelage of their new teacher, class 12B begins to realise their true potential and ability to do great things, whether it’s conquering their fears of killer washing machines or performing a traditional Scottish dance. But not everybody is happy with this development, including killjoy Principal Sternblast, who’s determined to put a stop to the fun and replace Mr Bambuckle. This is a delightfully funny book full of weird and wonderful characters that kids will love. Lessons about app-making and drone-building help put a modern spin on the ‘Magic School Bus’-esque formula, and the off-the-wall humour is bound to appeal to readers aged eight to 11. The format (short stories within a frame narrative) and vibrant illustrations from James Hart make Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables a great new suggestion for reluctant readers.
Holly Harper is a bookseller at Readings Kids