Review: I am STILL not a Loser

by Ross Grainger
by Ross Grainger

Not to be poo-pooed: I am STILL not a Loser by Jim Smith

During my days teaching English as a foreign language in Brussels I had many difficult students. They ranged from slow to impolite to certifiably crazy (I did my own certifying). One of the most difficult was a six-year-old Belgian lad who didn’t speak a word of English. At first he was quite shy, but his mischievous side soon shone through. Ah, sorry, a quick correction: he did know one word of English, and was very fond of it: ‘poo.’ He was more than fond, in fact. He would draw a picture of some poo, label it (in English, which I suppose was progress of a kind) and then giggle hysterically. That little boy is about nine years old now, and if his love of human excrement is still strong then he will adore Jim Smith’s latest book, I am still not a Loser.

I am STILL not a LoserThe book begins with our hero, Barry Loser, fresh from the success of his first book I am not a loser, dreaming of a world of ‘hoverpoos.’ (That is, poo that hovers, and not, as I thought at first glance, excrement that does the vacuuming). ‘Bogie Wogies’ soon follow, and before you know it you’re knee deep in a bizarre world of close-up filth, three-thumbed sweetshop owners and hilarious family names. Oh, and giant noses.

No, this is not a book for the squeamish, and not one to enjoy shortly after (and definitely not during) dinner. Amidst the fun and flatulence, though, are important topics for children. There’s the awful bully, Gordon Smugly, who poisons the mind of Barry’s best (but annoying) friend, Bunky. Barry, meanwhile, is sensitive to the fact that the aforementioned sweetshop lady might become self conscious about her slight disfigurement if he stops frequenting her shop. With amusing illustrations and helpful labels, I am still not a Loser will delight 8-10 year olds while hopefully not inspiring them to create a stage production.

For other Barry Loser books by Jim Smith, go to our website now!

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