Book Review | Only Children by David Baddiel

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A Sunday Times Best Book for Children 2023, Only Children is out now! From bestselling author David Baddiel comes a laugh-out-loud collection of three short stories for readers aged 8 and up with brilliant illustrations by Jim Field and Steven Lenton. Keep reading to find out how to win a copy!

Featuring three hilarious, heart-warming and adventure-filled stories that will have you laughing out loud!

Meet Alfie … The boy who could do what he liked!

Alfie has a routine. To be honest he has a lot of routines. But then one day Alfie’s babysitter is unavailable, and Alfie’s parents get Mrs Stokes instead. Mrs Stokes doesn’t do routines. Instead, she just tells Alfie to do what he likes. And that’s when things start to go weird.

Does everything get hilariously out of control? Yes.

Does Alfie learn a valuable lesson? Nah. This isn’t that kind of story …

Discover Chrissie … The girl who had never been on a train!

Chrissie loves trains. She has train books, train pictures – and, of course, model trains. But Chrissie has never been on an actual train. In part, because Chrissie doesn’t find getting around as easy as other people. Then, Chrissie finally gets on a train, with her Grandpa Henry, to go down to London for an important operation. Her parents and Henry hope the journey will take Chrissie’s mind off things.

And they’re right: but in a way they couldn’t possibly imagine. Because Chrissie’s trip from Scotland to London turns out to be quite literally magical – and changes her life forever.

Marvel at Ariel … The child who had never been on holiday!

Every year, Max, Lily, and Jack are taken to Snoring-On-Sea for their holiday – quite possibly the most boring town in the world. There’s nothing to do and nothing to see – even the beach at Snoring-on-Sea is dull and grey.

But this year, something DOES happen. The children meet someone on a tiny island out at sea – a mysterious child called Ariel. Ariel claims to have never left their tiny island, and to Ariel, everything about Max, Lily, and Jack’s lives is amazing – fish and chips, fizzy drinks … even the view of the brick wall out of their bedroom window.

And their new friend forces Max, Lily, and Jack to see Snoring-On-Sea in a whole new light …

Grab your copy of Only Children
Only Children by David Baddiel

Be in to win 1 of 3 copies of Only Children!

We’re giving away three copies of this short story collection, perfect for fans of anything funny!

To enter, simply name the three children that each short story is about. (Hint: You will find the answer on this page)

Enter now

Read reviews from our Young Readers!

Book review by Fin, aged 11

Only Children by David Baddiel is a hilarious book made up of three different stories. Each story has its own different setting and characters.

My favourite story out of the three was the child who had never been on holiday. This is because it was all about a boy who taught others to see the good side of things and how to use their imagination.

One of the other amazing stories is about a girl who had never been on a train. This story is about a girl in a wheelchair who is obsessed with trains but has never ridden on one. But one day she gets to ride and goes on a massive adventure.

Only Children book review David Baddiel

The final story is about a boy who could do what he wanted. This story is about a boy who has a strict lifestyle but one day he gets a babysitter who lets him do whatever he likes, but there’s a catch, she is a magic babysitter …

Overall this book was one of the best I have ever read with all the stories being hilarious, having a meaning and being appealing to read.

I would give this book 4.5 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 7 and above.

Book review by Eva, aged 10

I really enjoyed this book because it includes three short, diverse stories.

One story is about a boy who usually has a babysitter, but not like this one! He experiences magical performances, and can do what he likes.

Another of the three [stories] is about a girl named Chrissie, a train expert. Chrissie is in a wheelchair, so it’s harder for her to get around. But, despite her disability, Chrissie finally gets to meet her dream. It comes with a twist, though.

Only Children book review David Baddiel

The third is about a boy named Ariel who has never had a holiday, and the kids who hate their annual holiday help him learn and go on one together.

I really liked this book, and I recommend it for older or younger readers.

Book review by Harrison, aged 8

Only Children by David Baddiel is a kid’s chapter book that features three short stories all about children! The stories are all interesting and funny and have pictures too which are illustrated by Jim Field and Steven Lenton.

The first story, The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked, was probably my favourite one out of them all. The characters were so funny and the boy gets to go on an awesome adventure instead of following his usual strict routine. This story made me laugh a lot!

Only Children book review David Baddiel

The second story, The Girl Who Had Never Been On A Train, was interesting and I even learnt a bit about trains too. The last story, The Child Who Had Never Been on Holiday, was funny and really cool to read – it made me wish I could go and visit the island on holiday too!

I really enjoyed this book and the stories were fun and easy to read. My brother and sister want to read it now and I am going to recommend all of my friends to read it too!

Book review by Lachlan, aged 10

I have read a book by David Baddiel before and enjoyed it, these stories were funny too.

I thought it was an amazing book because it had three different kids with three different personalities in each story. My favourite story was The Girl Who Had Never Been On A Train because it was really interesting how a girl in a wheelchair was passionate about trains and I also love trains.

Kids will enjoy these, I gave it a 3 out of 5 star rating.

Only Children book review David Baddiel

Book review by Tomas, aged 10

I reviewed the book Only Children – three hilarious short stories written by David Baddiel, for Kidspot NZ.

The first story is called The Boy Who Could Do What He Liked. The story was about Alfie, a boy who had a magic babysitter who granted him his every wish, using her Zimmer frame! Read about what adventures they get up to.

The second story is called The Girl Who Had Never Been On a Train. The girl Chrissie loves all things trains and goes on a magical train trip. I wonder what happens to her train though.

The third story is called The Child Who Had Never Been on Holiday. But this one holiday they do go on turns out really exciting.

I really enjoyed this book and I recommend it to children aged 8 years and older. I will definitely read it again. It is a book that is funny, adventurous and used my imagination.

Reviewers are provided with a copy of the book for the purposes of the review. Views are those of the reviewers. This article contains information provided by HarperCollins.

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