I love Anne Fine. Short stories, usually set in school. With lots of realistic and fun child characters and easy-to-relate to stories that children can read by themselves or with a parent/teacher.
On Planet Fruitcake is her latest. It has similarities to Fine's classic The Chicken Gave it to Me but also made me think it was a more accessible version of Stephen Law's 'Philosophy for Kids'.
Within the context of Philip's school classroom, his teacher calls him 'shy' and wants him to speak out more, but it is only when she says she'll only lose her temper on Planet Fruitcake when things are backward that he gains the courage to 'pretend' to speak up. And speak up he does. About Who Am I, about the morality of vegetarianism. About how we perceive colour. All in a way an infant/junior pupil could access and enjoy.
Can Philip make the class think? Will their lovely teacher get cross and lose her bet?
Enchanting, and very thought-provoking. One for a parent for bedtime discussion.