Little Horror

Daniel Peak

I truly enjoyed reading this book although the cover is perhaps misleading for the genre of book. 

The narrator, baby Rita, turns two during the course of the story. She is exceptional, and hides a big secret. Rita is able to think and talk like an adult, and has taught herself to read and write.  The real trouble begins when she accidentally reveals her skills to her dubious babysitter.

The story moves at a pace, is humorous and clever, with well drawn characters in settings that lend themselves to adventure.  A nursery, soft play centre and derelict house in a park, where the roundabout affords children 360 vision, are all part of the journey to find other special children and the evil scientist, who tries to abduct Rita from her nursery.

This story poses questions about adult perceptions of childhood and successfully revisits the ideas explored in Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’, of children being cleverer than adults. Like Matilda, Rita is a funny, brave and tenacious hero, making her an empowering role model. Adults be very aware, toddlers may not be all they seem.

Published by Firefly Press (192 pages)

What young people think:

Teacher comment: 

“Dom is a slow and not very motivated reader.  However, he stopped me recently and told me that this was the best book that he had ever read and I think his review reflects this as the handwritten review has been beautifully written.”

Pupil review:

“Rita, one of the main characters, is only two years old but she has the mind of a teenager.  One day in her nursery a sinister clown appears and hunts Rita down.  

The main theme of the book is thriller.  This book has a lot of suspense, thrills, action and many laughable moments throughout the course of the book.

The most enjoyable part of the story is towards the end when everything becomes mysterious but also things begin to piece together.  Rita is my favourite character as she is funny and very smart.

What did I least enjoy about the book?  I loved all of it.   There is nothing that I didn’t like.  It is the type of book that I would choose to read even if it hadn’t been recommended to me by our school librarian.  It has a great balance of thrill, suspense, comedy, action and anything else that a book needs to keep you reading.

Would I recommend it to a friend?  Yes, definitely! I would give it 10/10. By Dom aged 12.”

Reviewed by Fiona McMorrow