Tim Harris (text), James Hart (illus.), Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Fight Back (Mr Bambuckle #2), Random House Australia, 29 Jan 2018, 240pp., $14.99 (pbk) ISBN 9780143785873
Both my girls, 9, enjoyed this book, and I can totally see why. Mr Bambuckle is the teacher every child wants to have. He rides a unicycle to school – right into the classroom – and makes learning fun, with plenty of surprises. Best of all, he empowers his students to use their own strengths to solve problems, particularly: how to survive school with their horrible new teacher.
The second book in the Mr Bambuckle series begins with the students of 12B meeting Miss Frost. She is very strict, overly critical and scary – nothing like Mr Bambuckle. Mr Bambuckle is kind-hearted, clever, mischievous and MAGIC. Even from outside the school, he guides his students to work as a team and draw on their own skills and creativity to outwit the icy Miss Frost. He helps his students to be remarkable, as all good teachers should.
There’s plenty more to the story – a cranky canteen lady, a delinquent kindergarten buddy and a jewel thief, as well as strong friendships and family bonds. Sydney author Tim Harris taught in primary schools for 15 years and knows how to appeal to young readers. In his book, the children are the heroes.
The text is broken up by a healthy smattering of black and white pictures and graphics, introducing the characters and illustrating some of the funnier moments.
The first book in the series, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables, is a Notable Book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s 2018 Book of the Year: Younger Readers category. Book three, Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables Go Wild, is due out 3 September 2018.
Reviewed by Carissa Mason