Child behaviourists and some parents who take their role very seriously may well be dismayed by this hilariously funny book, which seriously questions the idea that ‘naughty corners’ really work.
In this story it can get pretty crowded in the naughty corner. Almost everyone - the babies George and Cleopatra, 14-year-old Peter, 38-year old Brian, Nigel the cat and Credence the dog - all of them spend time there. The only member of the family who hasn't spent time in the naughty corner is Maureen, aka mum, who couldn't be naughty if she tried. It is her job to send everyone else to the naughty corner because she thinks it will make them better people.
This is a very sophisticated picture book, designed for adults rather than small children, and it is perhaps a pity that readers need to reach the end of the book before they get to Thompson’s dedication: ‘For Alice – this is NOT an instruction book’.
You will either love this book or hate it. In reading, connections are everything, so I loved it, and I’m heading straight to my favourite book shop to buy a copy for my eldest son, who at around George’s age was also heard saying a rude word in a public place – lucky for him there were no naughty corners then!
Reviewed by Jan
image by Ben Tubby