I haven’t read these stories since I was a young man, and before that a boy. I started this one as I wanted my children – aged 15 and 12 – to experience at least one collection of Just William stories before it was too late. Indeed, I feared it was already too late.
What child is interested these days in the rather innocent and naive exploits of a middle-class boy whose family still employ servants? None I would think – but I was wrong.
In fact my kids loved the stories as much as I did and my son – a confirmed ‘reluctant reader’ – insisted he wanted more stories when the book came to an end. And so we will – our life with William Brown isn’t over yet!
My one criticism was the slight jumble of the order of stories. We get William’s introduction to his faithful mutt at the end of the book when we’ve seen the mongrel throughout the collection. That always slightly annoys me – but it is really just about the only criticism I can think of. Otherwise these stories were a joy. Plenty of smiles, laughs and, at times, jaw-dropping ‘oh my goodness no!’ moments of cringe-worthy scenarios which make your toes curl with embarrassment.