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on 8 August 2017
My year 4 class have loved listening to this story. With an unusual, casual author style the adventures of Fizzlebert have proved amusing and interesting.
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on 5 September 2012
What a deliciously daft and discursive delight this book is, full of hilariously informative asides from the narrator that take the 'parent' right out of parenthesis! The adventures of Fizz are a joy to read aloud, and hard to put down. AF Harrold treads a deftly wittty path that has traces of Dahl or Diana Wynne Jones but is very much his own. I look forward to reading the next book, preferably aloud!
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on 23 June 2012
This book is a joy! The story is outrageously different, Fizz is a likeable and resourceful hero. His circus friends and family are wonderfully bizarre and the danger he gets himself into is surreal. All along the way is the author's voice commenting on what is happening in a way that genuinely made me laugh out loud. I read it with children aged 6 and 8 and they loved it.
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on 15 June 2012
I love this book. It's the charming, and funny, story of a boy called Fizzlebert Stump, who runs away from the circus to join a library. That much you know from the title. But what you don't know is that it's brilliantly written, with wonderful illustrations throughout. AF Harrold has a unique and distinct voice, and a flair for language that delights the ear, so your kids will love it, and so will you. Fizzlebert is a character that Roald Dahl would envy, and it's impossible not to enjoy his adventure. I only hope there are more stories to come.
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on 16 July 2012
The writing is first-rate (as you'd expect from the consummate wordsmith that A F Harrold is), and the pictures are similarly brilliant. The plot, surprisingly, is strangely prosaic, which makes this book unexpectedly better than you might otherwise expect.

When you pick up such a book you expect all sorts of improbable events, including heath-robinson contraptions which achieve remarkable effects; oddly-constructed humanoids with bizarre powers; physics-stretching occurrences which allow impossible events to take place - but everything, and I mean everything, in this book is not only within the realm of the possible, but also in the realm of the everyday. And such is its charm, and, dare I say, its chill.

It describes a particularly nasty experience that happened to two young lads which is slap-bang in the centre of contemporary Britain. The only weirdness you meet is the eccentricity of the people who populate it, all of whom are well within the parameters of the possible, and all described with a precision that suggest that these people actually exist, have been met, and are out there living a life.

I refuse to give this a 5, on the grounds that I wanted there to be more to the plot than there actually was - but I'm pretty damn sure there *will* be more, in due course.

I particularly liked the encounter with the local kids, where Fizzlebert introduces himself:

"Your name is Fizzlebert?" the tallest boy asked. "Really? Fizz? All? Bert?"

Recommended.
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on 28 June 2012
Wonderfully ridiculous yet engaging. Some utterly strange characters transport you to the surreal world of AF Harrold who, I believe, is a child trapped in a weirdy beardy man's body. Huzzah! A triumph!
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on 15 April 2013
Wonderfully written by the great A.F.Harrold, funny, witty and also a little bit crazy! I loved every moment, and can't recommend this book more highly, I read it aloud to a class of rough and tumble year 7s who loved the characters and the story. Read it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 February 2015
I'm generally O.K. with books that are narrated with a wink, but those books come in a variety of flavors. Sometimes the narrator can be too condescending or mocking, and sometimes the narrator is a bit too antic or cutesy, and sometimes the narrator is so intrusive he interferes with the story. This book seemed to navigate away from those excesses. Our hero runs away from the circus, which is a clever premise. The narrator strikes just the right balance in selling the story and yet kidding the reader about such a silly story. One comes to trust this cheerful voice, and that can mean a lot to an early reader.

It helps that a lot of the narrator's asides are educational and helpful in a way. The author explains as he's going along how one writes a book, or at least how one tells a tale. There are comments about chapters, and dramatic tension, and cliff hangers. I know it sounds a bit odd, but it seems to me that for the young readers of this book some of that is going to be news and it might actually help them become more understanding and involved young readers.

But all of that is just a bit of a bonus. This isn't a book for elementary schoolers about how to read and appreciate great middle school literature. Rather, silly is the operative word here. Silly names, silly scenes, silly plot. Fortunately, the author, like an accomplished ringmaster, keeps all of the silliness under control and keeps the characters, the action and the plot moving forward at high, but manageable, speed. There is excitement and suspense, but mostly justly chuckles and lighter moments, (although the hero's evident loneliness early on adds a bit of dramatic edge.)

Because the narrator is such a major presence in the story, with all sorts of asides and comments on the action, it seems that this could be a particularly good read-to book, allowing the reader to ham up the narrator's best lines.

So, if you'd like a book with a lot of appeal for younger readers, and a gentle sort of feeling, this might be a nice choice.

Please note that I found this book while browsing the local library's Kindle books, and downloaded it for free. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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on 9 April 2013
Everyone should read this book. Even my mum has read it. She said it was like a R Dahl book. I can't wait to read more of these books. The pictures in the book were also great and were just as I imagined the characters would be like.
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on 2 May 2013
i really thought this was one of the best audiobooks ive listened to with the kids in my class for years- see previous review- honestly written and narrated brilliantly- please listen and join in the fun!
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