52 Books: Anna Maxted’s Tom and Matt books

Anna Maxted’s adult novel Getting Over It is one of my all-time faves, so when I saw she’d written a couple of children’s books – and that they’re illustrated by Alex T Smith, whose Claude books Harry and I both love – I snapped ’em up.

We read The Baddie first and it’s just wonderful. It’s right up Harry’s street, featuring two little boys with wild imaginations, and it’s laugh-out-loud funny with some great jokes for the grown-ups too.

The Horrible Princess was, I think, even more of a success, since Tom and Matt now have a baby brother who sounds a lot like Joe and whose appearances had Harry in stitches. (And the Princess isn’t really horrible, nor is she typically “princessy”.)

They’re both very sweet and funny books, crammed with humour that doesn’t rely solely on poo/fart jokes (though there are some poo/fart jokes in there too). We also enjoyed that the family sounded like ours – the parents aren’t perfect, the boys sometimes fight and get on each others nerves, but they all clearly love each other lots.

I really hope there are more books to come.


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