Herbie Brennan,
Fairy Nuff: A Tale of Bluebell Wood
(Bloomsbury, 2002)

For pure, start-to-finish silliness, Herbie Brennan's Fairy Nuff is the book to read. In 22 short chapters (and not forgetting the epilogue), there is more action, excitement and punning than you can shake a wand at.

Poor Fairy Nuff, son of Oldie Nuff, brother of Sweetie and Biggie Nuff, has blown up his cottage in a bizarre accident involving a candle, a barrel of gunpowder and several unexploded (though not for long!) hand grenades.

Alone and bereft in Bluebell Wood, Fairy Nuff soon has bigger problems to deal with -- it turns out he has also done damage to the property of the mean and cranky Widow Buhiss (read that again, out loud), who owns the estate adjoining the Nuff land.

With her trusty puppy Gestapo and faithful (but bumbling) servant Orc, Buhiss attempts a cleverly plotted revenge on Fairy. It would've worked too, if it weren't for those meddling ants!

Yes, I do realize this plot makes no sense. That's OK. It works better in the book, you'll just have to trust me on that. By the end, though, you might find yourself asking, "What was the point?" And really, there isn't one. But that's just one way of looking at it.

Another is, "That was really dumb, but really fun!" We had a great time reading it, even at bedtime, when we're supposed to be settling down. Instead the kids and I were in fits of giggles, as a pun would suddenly make sense or a character name would prove to be part of the running joke.

Definitely read this book out loud, as some of the funniest parts come across only when you hear the words pronounced. The cartoonish illustrations by Ross Collins show us a hapless Fairy who comes by good fortune obviously only through luck, sinister yet lovable Orc, skin-and-bones-and-evil Widow Buhiss, and even the Queen of England who, unfortunately, looks exactly like the picture.

I absolutely recommend reading this to anyone, kids or adults. In fact, some of the jokes are subtle or require a knowledge of history, and therefore are actually funnier to the grown-ups.

I have the sequel, Nuff Said, right here in my bedtime reading stack. This one only took about four nights to read aloud, so hurry up and read it yourself. I'll let you know if the next one's just as good!

- Rambles
written by Katie Knapp
published 1 May 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.