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You're a Bad Man, Mr. Gum! (You're a Bad Man MR Gum (Hardback)) Hardcover – February 19, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–6—Mr. Gum lives in a disgustingly filthy house where "he slept, scowled, and picked his nose and ate it." Even the bed isn't made—Mr. Gum chucked "bits of wood on the floor and dumped a mattress on top." But his garden is the most beautiful in the town. Why? Some speculate that he likes to garden, but the real reason is the angry fairy who gives him "pan whacks" if the garden isn't perfect. Unfortunately for Mr. Gum, the neighborhood dog, Jake, frequently messes up the garden—causing Mr. Gum too many whacks with the frying pan. So Mr. Gum leaves spoiled cow hearts laced with rat poison and sweetened with lemonade powder in the center of the lawn. Jake takes the bait, but is ultimately saved by nine-year-old Polly and some magic chocolate (a questionable remedy, since chocolate is dangerous to dogs). English author Andy Stanton provides flawless narration of his book (HarperCollins, 2008). His deadpan delivery and comic timing are perfect. With its quirky cast of characters and silly sense of humor, this story is a great choice for reluctant readers.—Stephanie Farnlacher, Trace Crossings Elementary School, Hoover, AL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A serious assault on the silly bone." (Kirkus Reviews)

"An irresistible, laughter-inducing romp." (Sunday Times (London))
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Series: You're a Bad Man MR Gum (Hardback)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061152404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061152405
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,669,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Three Silly Chicks on April 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Gum really is a bad man. He's slimy and gross and mean to children. But there's this little fairy who whacks him on the head with a frying pan whenever he neglects his garden. As a result, Mr. Gum's garden is the "prettiest, greeniest, floweriest, gardeniest garden in the whole of Lamonic Bibber." Lamonic Bibber is a town. (This book takes place in England, you see, where pan-whacking fairies and strange town names are the norm.) Anyhoo, enter Jake, "a massive whopper of a dog," who wreaks havoc on Mr. Gum's garden with a conga line of moles in party hats. Needless to say, Mr. Gum is not pleased. In fact, he is mightily bruised from the enormous pan-whacking that ensues. So our scowling villain decides to do away with Jake in a most heinous, hideous way. Fortunately, along comes Polly, a "girl worth liking," who's determined to foil Mr. Gum's plan even if she has to team up with a questionable old hero named Friday O'Leary.

And you know what? We think we'll just stop here and let you read it for yourself. You really should. It's a whopper and a half. And then pass it on to any kid you know who enjoys books by Bruce Hale, Jim Benton, or Jon Scieszka. Or any a kid you know who needs a laugh. Or any adult, for that matter. Wafflemongers especially.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James A. Nichols VINE VOICE on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was so funny, I couldnt stop laughing. The writing style is so great the author adds a lot to lines to make them hilarious. Mr Gum is a really bad and evil man who happens to have the best garden in the world until the friendly town dog finds it and tears everything up. Mr Gum comes up with a plan to get rid of the dog. Polly a local girl finds out his plan and must come up with a way to stop him. Definetly a book to check out. I would highly recommend for 3rd grade and above. I will definetly check out this authors future books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Kline VINE VOICE on August 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
My son laughs and laughs at You're a Bad Man Mr. Gum! He absolutly adores it, which to me is a sign of a great children's book. The book is whity and creative enough that you won't mind listening to it 200 times, since I swear that is how many times my son has put this on. I think laughter is so good for kids, and I highly recomend this for children in need of a book that will keep them giggling. The author does a fantastic job voicing the production. Five stars for this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TD on February 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
I got this for my 8 year old niece and she loves it. I wasn't sure if it would be too weird or dark or if her parents might be too conservative to approve of it, so I read it myself. Definitely strange in some parts, and that's a good thing. I expected that it would get left in the pile of other books and toys after Christmas, but I talked to her today (3 months later) and she says with a big smile that she's read it 5 times; plus her grandmother even called to thank me and tell me how hilarious it is. These ladies have good taste, I'd say.

A tip for others like me: I loved the first Mr. Gum book but I couldn't find any reviews of the following books in the series to see if they're worth ordering. But since it's British, there ARE reviews on Amazon UK! Check here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gum-Biscuit-Billionaire-Andy-Stanton/dp/1405228156
Based on those, I feel confident to buy this next one, or maybe all of them. Only the British adults who are probably as open minded as a bag of sticks gave it bad reviews, but even then they admitted that kids love them.
The truth is a lemon meringue!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
You know how everyone thinks it's easy to write a silly Ogden Nash-type poem until they actually try to do it? Then you realize how hard it is to be authentically silly. Well, that's sort of what happens here, in a good way. The stories are silly and the characters are totally off the wall. Drawings, typography, sentence structure, narrative viewpoint - all over the place. But,it all works and it all comes together to create a truly charming and satisfyingly upbeat and refreshing whole. I don't see how a kid's book gets much better than this.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Children's books about miserly, nasty, no good, rotten old men go one of two ways. Either the old man is redeemed at the end and Tiny Tim lives, etc. etc. or you get to the end of the book and the miserly, nasty, no good, rotten old man hasn't changed a jot. He's just been thwarted. A kind of Count Olaf ending, if you will. The nice thing about Andy Stanton's Mr. Gum books is that they're written with a two-dimensional villain in place with whom you never, at any point, sympathize. Stanton is a fan of goofiness and is willing to pile a whole bunch of weirdness on top of itself in the hopes that there will be enough funny material to keep the kids ah-reading. For the most part, "You're a Bad Man, Mr. Gum!" works and even when it doesn't it just seems to be so pleased with itself that you can't help but feel some affection for it. This isn't the strongest silly book for kids I've ever read, but it has its heart in the right place. Nice but not exceptional.

Mr. Gum was nasty, to begin with. Nasty heart, nasty soul, nasty housekeeping skills, the whole enchilada. The one thing about Mr. Gum that is not nasty is his lovely little garden. Lest you attribute this to something noble in his soul, you should know that the only reason he keeps it tidy is that if he doesn't the angry fairy that lives in his bathtub will hit him repeatedly on the head with a frying pan. It's one of those deals. All would be well and good if it were not for a big massive whopper of a dog named Jake. Jake likes gardens and he especially likes Mr. Gum's garden. After getting whopped continually by the fairy every time Jake makes a foray into his yard, Mr. Gum comes up with a malicious plan to take care of the friendly canine forever.
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