Beano Dennis & Gnasher: Super Slime Spectacular by Craig Graham and Mike Stirling

The Blurb On The Back:

More jokes!  More laughs!  More mischief!

The most spectacular Beano Boomic yet!

What could possibly go wrong when Dennis, Gnasher and their classmates undertake a risky experiment to create the ultimate slime?

EVERYTHING!

Join them, in a race against slime to save Beanotown? 

BEANO DENNIS & GNASHER: SUPER SLIME SPECTACULAR was released in the United Kingdom on 7th July 2022.  Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.

You can order BEANO DENNIS & GNASHER: SUPER SLIME SPECTACULAR by Craig Graham and Mike Stirling from Amazon UK, Waterstone’s or Bookshop.org UK.  I earn commission on any purchases made through these links.

The Review (Cut For Spoilers):

It’s the penultimate day of the school term and Dennis is counting down the hours until his favourite day of the school year – the last day of term – when Miss Mistry realises that Class 3C hasn’t completed the science module.  Fortunately Rubi von Screwtop’s dad is a professor who runs the Top Secret Research Station and he’s willing to give the class a tour so that Miss Mistry can tick off the module and release the class for the summer holiday.

As part of the tour, Professor von Screwtop shows Class 3C how to make slime.  Dennis teams up with his friend Khadija “Sketch” Raad, a superb artist who always carries her drawing tablet with her.  When Sketch finds a chemical called Embarrassium hidden behind a book in the lab, Dennis decides to add it to their slime because after all, what’s the worst that could happen?

Well it turns out, quite a lot of bad things could happen.  Not only does the slime start to pulse and expand, but it also decides to attack Dennis and Sketch before being beaten back and disappearing into the sewers.  It isn’t long before Beantown is covered in a thick layer of green slime and worse, it seems to be pranking the residents!  Realising that Sergeant Slipper will hold Dennis and his friends responsible for the pranks, Dennis and pals decide to track the slime down and put a stop to it.  They just have to work out how …

The 4th in Craig Graham and Mike Stirling’s “boomic” Beano spin-off series for readers aged 8+ is another rude and naughty giggle fest with plenty of fart jokes and pranks and it’s good to see that Dennis’s diverse friends are willing to engage in disgraceful behaviour.  Nigel Parkinson’s illustrations stay true to the comic while bringing dimension to the text, I enjoyed the manic energy on display and would definitely read more in this series.  

I picked this up because I had read and enjoyed the first in this series THE BATTLE FOR BASH STREET SCHOOL so wanted to check out more of Dennis’s adventures with his pals.   

I enjoyed the return of wheelchair user Rubi von Screwtop and what was for me, the first appearance of her father, Professor von Screwtop was a lot of fun too.  I also liked new-to-me character Sketch, a hijab wearing artist with a taste for mayhem.  One thing I will say about this spin-off series is that the way Graham and Stirling have worked on the diversity is great – they really demonstrate that naughtiness and pranking is not race-specific or able-bodied specific but nor are they out preaching a mission – they let their cast be their most badly behaved selves.  This is all added to by Parkinson’s illustrations, which have a huge amount of energy to them and really work well to supplement the text, while also giving some of the characters a very devilish glint in their eye.

The relationship between Dennis and Gnasher works very well, I enjoyed how Graham and Stirling have given Gnasher more of a character while also showing how much he loves Dennis (and vice versa).  However this is not a schmaltzy read by any means, there are a lot of fart jokes, pranks and general naughty humour here (including a scene involving puking).  My favourite bit of a book deals with the reaction of a bus driver who has to drive Class 3C to the Top Secret Research Station – it genuinely made me laugh out loud, which was a bit embarrassing given that I was on the Tube at the time.

The story itself is pretty simple – Dennis and Sketch create a monster slime that gets loose and wrecks havoc so they have to work out what’s going on and how to stop it before the police decide to blame Class 3C.  Needless to say, Walter Brown’s ghastly father Wilbur Brown has a part to play, as does his evil scientist side kick Doctor Pfooflepfeffer.  I’ll be honest and say that some of it didn’t make a lot of sense but it’s all done at such pace and with so many jokes that it didn’t really bother me and, let’s face it, you’re not reading a Beano book for tightly plotted twists and science logic.

If you have an 8 year old who is a bit of a reluctant reader, then I would definitely recommend trying this series with them.  The comic art and the humour means that it’s very approachable while the characters are quite familiar, which should make them easy to engage with.  All in all I think that Graham, Stirling and Parkinson are doing a sterling job in maintaining the Beano’s legacy with these books and I will definitely check out more of them.    

 

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