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Kasper in the Glitter Paperback – 7 Sep 1995
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Kasper Whiskey and his mother, Pumpkin, live in a wasteland, called the Nothing, but brighten their lives by keeping everything yellow - including clothes and food. Kasper is forced to go into the city to retrieve his mother's brooch, stolen by heart throb Mink.
About the Author
PHILIP RIDLEY was born in the East End of London, where he still lives and works. He studied painting at St Martin's School of Art and by the time he graduated had exhibited widely throughout Europe and written his first novel. As well as books and plays for adults, Philip has written many other books for children including Krindlekrax (1991), winner of the Smarties Prize and the WH Smith, Mind-Boggling Books Award, Kasper in the Glitter (1994), nominated for the Whitbread Prize, and Scribbleboy (1997), shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. His work has been translated into seventeen languages.
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The story is based around a young boy called Kasper who lives a lonely life with his mother, Pumpkin. The mother is a high-maintenance, prim dahhling that wanders the house/ex-beauty salon to ensure that everything `sparkles'. Kasper wears only yellow and the two of them eat only food that is yellow. Their other habits are equally baffling.
Their strange abode is located in the waste ground known as `The Nothing' and looks out onto the twinkling streetlamps of The City. A sequence of events happens one evening, which leads Kasper into believing that a boy of his age called `Heartthrob' has stolen Pumpkin's most precious of brooches. In order to make his mother's life `sparkle' once again, he goes out in search of Heartthrob and visits The City for the first time. But it isn't long before his original intentions for visiting this new and exciting place are overshadowed by far stranger encounters, including a meet with The Gloom's self-proclaimed King, who demands he prepare him a Banoffi Pie to make him say, `YUM!'.
It may be evident from the above that explaining a Philip Ridley book is surprisingly hard and does little justice in encapsulating and praising his madly marvellous plots. This particular book echoes messages to children, such as the importance of friendship, honesty and trust, but communicates this through a playful and warped world. The characters are accessible and predictable and the repetition in the text makes it an apt choice for both readers from Year 4 to Year 6. The influence from 1950s rock `n' roll subculture may also serve as a basis to discuss other topics outside of Literacy, including 20th century history and popular music.
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