[NB: Extract taken from My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up, published by Random House Australia. Text copyright ©Tristan Bancks 2011. Illustrations copyright ©Gus Gordon 2011. RRP $15.95.]
See author Oliver Phommavanh's review of the book in BuzzWords below.
My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up by Tristan Bancks and illustrated by Gus Gordon (Random House)
PB RRP $15.95
Reviewed by Oliver Phommavanh
My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up is a collection of short stories for younger readers. These bite-sized bursts of fun are inspired by Paul Jennings, Andrew Daddo and Andy Griffiths, the sort of stories that will keep kids enthralled and wondering if it really happened or not.
Tom Weekly is just your normal kid with a wacky life. This collection kicks off with his pet dog that is constantly getting kissed by a weird dog lover. Bancks just keeps upping the zaniness and laughs from there. Tom takes part in a hot dog eating competition, he is dared to eat vegemite off his sister’s toe and he gets attacked by magpies. Kids will be able to relate to that for sure! In fact, kids will find a part of themselves in Tom, who always finds himself in all sort of weird situations. My personal favourite is the story where Tom and his friend Jack challenge one another to see who has the toughest nan. It reads like a wrestling match.
Bancks is joined by Gus Gordon, who provides some illustrations to flesh out Bancks’ out-there descriptions. They’re a reliable combination to deliver laughs on each page. The notebook layout will inspire kids to write out their own fantastic tales.
My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up has been tried and tested by Bancks. There are some amusing lists and answers from kids on his school visits. He has tapped into a kid’s curiosity and runaway imagination with these short stories. They’re easy to devour and perfect for reading out loud.
My Life and Other Stuff I Made Up is highly recommended for ages 9 and up.