Book Review: The World’s Worst Children by David Williams

Kid review: 4.5/5 – he says it isn’t perfect but close

Mom review: 2.5/5 – it has to do with the gross factor and nasty attitudes

On a recent trip to Whistler, BC we popped into their little bookstore, Armchair Books, to peruse the kid’s section since my son hadn’t packed enough books and had finished the one he brought. I love shopping in this store. Even though it is very small, the selection is varied and there is always something of interest for us. We also find books that we wouldn’t necessarily see in the US as they often feature books that are popular in the UK or throughout the commonwealth. We came across an author we weren’t familiar with, but was being hailed as the next Roald Dahl, and since we love Mr. Dahl’s stories, we decided we should really have a look at “The World’s Worst Children” by David Williams.

This book is a collection of 10 stories show-casing 10 kids with extraordinarily bad habits and attitudes. It varies from Peter Picker who constantly picks his nose and collects the boogers so he can make a world record sized booger to Windy Mindy who has such horrible gas (much to her own joy and she does help it along) that she is able to get out of different things yet becomes a tuba protege (for a bit) to Grubby Gertrude who never ever cleaned and had such a horrible room that she met an unsavory end. That story was probably my least favorite of them all to be honest and I was kind of glad for the way it ended…which might sound horrible. I didn’t like her in the slightest. All of the stories are cautionary tales about what could happen if you have similar behaviors like watching too much TV and not getting up from the sofa. I did enjoy several of the stories and I liked Mr. William’s writing style and I think the children will too. The illustrations were colorful and fun and really added to the story, as did the changing fonts! It added an extra element for kids who are reading this on their own and was a little bit like Geronimo Stilton with the style.

Each story is the perfect length for reading right before bed or for mid-level readers who might find long books a little bit intimidating and they want to try a chapter book that breaks things up into smaller chunks.

Now, as to our differing ratings above: I like to think we have a pretty healthy sense of humor around our house when it comes to fart and poop and booger jokes. We are not put off by that stuff very easily. “The World’s Worst Children” has loads of that along with bad attitudes that will put you off completely and that is why my son and I had such differing opinions on this book. I did ok with the farts and boogers but the attitudes of the children were just so appalling I was really struggling. I would agree with the title that these really are the world’s worst children and it gave us some great talking points! My son found the collection of 10 stories far funnier than I did, but he is really the target audience and I am not, so that seems about right.

All of that said, I think kids will love this book as much as my son did, so in that regard I recommend it. Anything that keeps them reading is great in my opinion. The illustrations are done by the same man who has done many of the illustration for the Roald Dahl books of late so things will feel very familiar if you enjoy Roald Dahl. David Williams is being touted as the “next Roald Dahl” and I would really like to see more of his books before I come to the conclusion for myself. I have my eye on “Gangsta Granny” and a few others! Check him out!

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