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Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster

Series: Penny Dreadful: Book 1
By Joanna Nadin

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My name is not actually Penny Dreadful. It is Penelope Jones. The 'Dreadful' bit is my dad's JOKE. But I do not see the funny side. Plus it is not even true that I am dreadful. It's just that sometimes my BRILLIANT IDEAS don't work out completely brilliantly. Like, I didn't mean for my cousin to end up bald and covered in superglue, and I also didn't mean to steal our neighbour's dog and make him speak Russian... It is not my fault. I can't help it - I'm just a Magnet for Disaster.
Three fantastically funny Penny Dreadful adventures in one fab book! Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011

Book information

Lexile Measure
Book Band
Accelerated Reader level
6.1 MY
ISBN: 9781409526728
Extent: 144 pages
Dimensions: 198 x 130mm
Jess Mikhail

Author information

Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin was born in Northampton. She is a former broadcast journalist and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, and continues to freelance as a political speechwriter. She has also been a cleaner and a juggler.

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Shortlisted - Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011

The Roald Dahl Funny Prize aims to: > Promote laughter and humour as a feel-good factor when reading, by encouraging families to read together and discover the pleasure of funny books. > Draw attention to funny books as readable and enjoyable books. > Reward and encourage authors (and illustrators) who write and illustrate books using humour in their stories, poetry and fiction.

Reader reviews

Read the following reviews or write one of your own.

“great book”
I really like the Penny Dreadful books because they are really funny. My favourite story in this book is the one where the School Inspector comes to Penny's school.

Press reviews

“Don't miss the comic genius that is Penny Dreadful, a wickedly funny new creation and worthy contender to Horrid Henry.”
“Three hilarious adventures that will amuse boys and girls alike. Laugh out loud with Penny Dreadful and her friends,”
“Short, funny, standalone stories following Penelope Jones through a catalogue of disasters, whether the dog she befriends swallows the baby monitor or the school inspector is due or she tries to cut her cousins hair...With strong storylines, these are easy flowing tales that are great to read aloud, perfect as well for the 6+ reader to get stuck into. The fun and funky illustrations also help the stories along.”
“A brilliantly written and illustrated laugh-out-loud book recommended for children aged 7+ years. The book contains three hilarious stories about a little girl called Penelope Jones (aka Penny Dreadful to her family) and her 'brilliant ideas' that never quite go according to plan. From hairdressing to abandoned dogs to huge swarms of locusts...mayhem, drama and disaster are all part of a day's work for Penny Dreadful and her best friend Cosmo the Jedi!”
“Three hilarious stories in one in this book about likeable but disaster-prone Penny...Written in the first person, Penny rambles her way through all sorts of incidents in a really amusing fashion - this would be a great book to read aloud to a class because of the way it is written. At the start of the book, the reader is introduced to a cast of amazing characters and there are lots of entertaining pictures. Great fun and Penny is set to become very popular.”
“Penelope Jones is pretty much the kind of child you might visualise if asked to imagine the result of Horrid Henry and Charlie’s little sister Lola growing up and starting a family together. Impulsive, inventive, and essentially well-meaning but utterly lacking any sense of risk assessment, Penny’s explanations for the trail of destruction she leaves behind her wherever she goes are delivered in lengthy, breathlessly articulate, Lola-esque sentences, and are always entirely reasonable from her perspective.”
“The stories are very funny with Penny getting deeper and deeper into scrapes while all the time her intentions are innocent, something many children and indeed adults will find familiar. Boys as well as girls will race through these stories giggling all the way!”
“With three wicked, fun-filled stories in one book and packed full of charming illustrations, Penny’s crazy capers are pitched perfectly for children aged seven and over.”
“Penelope Jones and her friend Cosmo are the kind of children whose best intentions always seem to evolve into a full-blown disaster. Like shaving the cat’s head whilst practising to be hairdressers, for example. Hence, Penny’s nickname, coined by her father. In this series of funny, pacey short stories, Penny gets into four different scrapes. Easy to read and lots of fun – though it might give your child some dangerous ideas...”
“Chortlingly good fun, this girl would give Horrid Henry a run for his money.”
“With lots of great illustrations and graphic text, and a full spectrum of odd and eccentric characters, Penny Dreadful is sure to make you laugh out loud.”
“She’s very clumsy, but we love her... [A] lovely series of books about a clumsy little girl. Be prepared for hilarious tales of the mishap, mayhem and misadventure that comes hand-in-hand with Penny.”
“Will captivate young readers.”
“A wonderful book for children and child-like adults; particularly those with a slightly silly sense of humour, a love of chaos, and an aptitude to giggle in a group.”
“This book is, without a doubt, the funniest book I’ve read in quite some time... An absolute delight from start to finish.”
“It is very difficult not to love Penny Dreadful as she hurtles from one disaster to the next. The stories are fast-paced... and the storytelling is only broken up by the equally quirky and perfectly matched illustrations.”

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