I personally love Roddy Doyle's novels. The Irish author normally writes adult fiction, so when I ran across The Giggler Treatment, I scooped it up for my seven year old son. That night, I started reading it to him and, well, let's just say the humour was right up his alley. The story had both of us laughing our heads off. This is a story that he was quite capable of reading himself, but we could not resist the fun of reading it together. It is the first in a trilogy called “The Rover Adventures.”
The entire story of 102 pages takes place in the few moments it takes Mister Mack to step, or not step (I don't want to give the ending away), in a mound of dog poo. This sounds unlikely, but Roddy Doyle pulls it off beautifully. He creates a wonderful tension and children cannot wait to read the next chapter as Mister Mack's foot inches its way closer to the poo.
Where does this poo come from? Well, it turns out that there are Gigglers out there, who cannot be seen because they can expertly camouflage themselves. Their mission is to punish adults who are mean to children by making them step in dog poo, and a large amount of this dog poo comes from an obliging, and now rich, dog named Rover.
There is so much in this story for kids to love: poo, punishing adults, Gigglers who are on their side, silliness, page turning tension and lots of laughs. When we were done, my son started making a list of the friends he wanted to lend it to. To me, that is the best recommendation, to have enjoyed a book so much that you cannot wait to share it with others.
Hint: if your child likes and can read Captain Underpants, they will probably like this. But it is not only for boys, several of the girls in my son's class have read The Giggler Treatment and loved it.
This review was first published on page 21 of the April/May 2011 issue of Kamloops Momma Magazine. We loved this book so much, if anyone knows of other books in this vein, can you please comment below. I would love to hear your suggestions.