Title: The Bolds (The Bolds #1)
Author: Julian Clary
Illustrator: David Roberts
Publisher: Andersen Press
Genre: Children’s fiction, Humour
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: The Bolds live in an ordinary semi-detached house in an ordinary suburban street – but they are a far from ordinary family…
Mrs Bold makes unusual hats from egg boxes and chicken bones.
Mr Bold writes the jokes for Christmas crackers and is rather fond of scavenging in the neighbours’ bins.
Bobby is a cheeky little one, always running about and chewing on the table legs.
And Betty likes to chase her brother and has a strange cackling laugh.
Yes, they are a far from ordinary family.  But have you guessed their secret yet?

*Free copy provided by publisher (as part of The Bolds Box Set) for review…

Review:  This is such a fun and silly story with a brilliant twist! The Bolds are like any ordinary family, they live in a nice house, in the middle of a nice suburban neighbourhood and while Mr and Mrs Bold work, their children go to school. Everything seems normal except for the fact that The Bolds are actually animals in disguise as humans. When two hyenas from Africa get the chance of living like an ordinary married couple in the UK, they jump at the chance, but hiding their secret isn’t so easy, especially when your neighbours are very, very nosy.

The Bolds book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The idea of this book is so funny. The tale begins in Africa with two hyenas who have gradually learned to speak human after so many tourists have visited the area. One day they make the decision to head to England though, to start new and hopefully easier lives where they don’t have to scavenge for their food. But being a hyena isn’t easy to hide, especially when their kids come along. The story is really quite silly but at the same time I really enjoyed it and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. Although I wasn’t laughing so much at the start of the book, this being a brand new story I wasn’t sure what to expect, however by the end I just loved it and loved what happened to all the characters.

Hiding their true identities as hyenas isn’t so easy and the story takes on an extra funny turn when The Bolds make a visit to see some animals. I don’t want to explain what happens as it will spoil the tale, but it’s very funny and I love the reactions of the different creatures to this family of hyenas all dressed as people. The rest of the story, especially the part surrounding Tony was very funny and I loved what happened towards the end with the nosy neighbour. There is a bit of a twist at the end of the story, one that I enjoyed, especially the very silly explanation of how it came to be. And the whole book ends in a great way and has already made me eager to read the next in the series!

The illustrations are just perfect for this story. They are all very silly and funny. I love the way the family looks, and I especially love the way some animals are drawn, the expressions on their faces and the way all their legs look! All the images are in black, grey and white, and are fitted in among the large text, with some images forming part of the narrative (you have to look at them to keep up with some short conversations in the story, rather than just being there as an exxtra. I really enjoy illustrations like this, they break up a lot of the large text and just add to the overall humour of the whole tale.

The Bolds book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

This book is a surprisingly quick read due to the larger text and spaces between paragraphs but it’s a great read. And although part of me wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy it when I first began reading, it took me a while to really get into the humour, once I got into the tale I just really loved it. There are funny moments that will make children and adults laugh, and there are silly jokes told throughout by Mr Bold (hyenas love a good laugh afterall). The whole idea of animals dressing up as and pretending to be humans and living among us is just such a brilliant one and done in such a great way! I can’t wait to see how this idea plays out in future books!

Have you read any books in The Bolds series?  What other funny stories do you enjoy reading?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂