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Selected as a Booktrust Best New Illustrator of 2011.
Joe Berger grew up in Bristol, where he did an Art Foundation at Bower Ashton. He then worked as a freelance illustrator for a large number of international magazines and newspapers, self-publishing comic books, illustrating and designing book covers, making award-winning animated shorts, title sequences and commercials and, since May 2003, co-writing and drawing a weekly comic strip in The Guardian. He continues to freelance, and his first picture book, Bridget Fidget, was published by Puffin. Most recently he has illustrated Dot by Randy Zuckerberg and Superhero Dad by Timothy Knapman. Joe was World Book Day illustrator in 2010, and collaborated with Frank Cottrell Boyce on his three sequels to Ian Fleming’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. All the Lies I’ve Ever Told, a comic novel for 8-12 year olds, will be published by Simon & Schuster in 2017.
Seamlessly mixing text and comic strip, this new adventure for Sam Lyttle is a great bit of storytelling. Sam has real trouble negotiating the swamp of truth, so when his mum challenges him to go three weeks without telling a single fib he hesitates, only accepting because if he doesn’t, he won’t be able to go to the special open-air screening of movie Cry Wolfe, starring his favourite fictional crime-fighter Wolfe Stone. Can Sam do it, or will he be undone by a secret past misdemeanour? A host of different plot strands come together in a very funny climax at the street festival. The depictions of Sam’s family are very true to life, but there are lots of silly and even surreal elements to enjoy too, and Berger works the comic-strip format with real skill. Highly recommended. James Patterson’s series Middle School series also successfully mix cartoons into entertaining, zany but realistic stories of adolescent life. Barry Hutchison’s Beaky Malone books have fun with ideas of the importance of truth and lies.
In a nutshell: fun, illustrated stories, that neatly sidestep the elephant of truth | Readers of all ages are going to love Sam Lyttle, star of Joe Berger’s new series. Well-intentioned, Sam can’t help but get into scrapes and generally finds it just, well, simpler to tell a lie to keep everyone happy than admit the truth. It’s a strategy that often makes things worse, but results in some highly entertaining adventures. Berger tells his stories in a mix of text and cartoon illustrations, both of which are direct, immediately engaging and really very funny indeed; Sam’s illustrated description of skirting the elephant of truth on his skateboard is particularly wonderful. There are five different but interlinked stories in the book, making it a particularly accessible read. James Patterson’s series Middle School series also successfully mix cartoons into entertaining, zany but realistic stories of adolescent life. Barry Hutchison’s Beaky Malone books have fun with ideas of the importance of truth and lies. ~ Andrea Reece
Bridget Fidget never stops, she's a girl in a whirl all the time, especially when something arrives one morning in a big box. Just think how exhausting it is for both mum and dad to have a child that never stops. Is there anything in the world that can help bridget be less of a fidget?