Van has finished reading…The Boy Who Kicked Pigs by Tom Baker

14 Jan

Voice is one of those difficult to pin down concepts in writing. It’s the kind of thing you start trying to explain but then realise it covers so many things you end up saying, well, it’s their voice, you know? Their voice. The Boy Who Kicked Pigs might just be my new method of explaining it. Watch some old episodes of Dr Who (yes, it’s that Tom Baker). Listen to the overdubs on the episodes of Little Britain. Get used to Tom’s delivery, his speech patterns, his ever so slightly unhinged (or is it, really) manner. Then read The Boy Who Kicked Pigs. You can hear him. It’s unmistakeable. Imagine him sitting there reading this to your kids. See how terrified, but at the same time utterly enthralled they’ll be, wondering whether this is just a story about a boy who kicked some pigs, or whether it’s a lesson about how the world really works. See them trying to work out whether he is friend or foe, where that line between safety and fun tips into keep smiling and back away slowly.
And if your kids – or indeed you – are fond of a tale that takes an unexpectedly dark turn, you should definitely seek this book out. The pictures are every bit as captivating as the text. Get it. Read it.

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