by Terry Pratchett, published 1998
“Be quiet! You know the words of Arnold Bros. (est. 1905)! Everything Under One Roof. Everything! Therefore, there can be no Outside. Therefore you’re from some other part of the Store. Corsetry. Or Young Fashions…”
As a reluctant and tentative fan of Terry Pratchett’s writing, I always tiptoe into a children’s book, not sure what I’ll find. I was delighted to discover the first children’s book in The Bromeliad Trilogy was filled with humor, puns, social commentary, and a clever plot. I admit to laughing out loud over some of the quirky things that Pratchett’s humor presents.
The first book revolves around the ‘nomes’ discovering other nomes who live in a department store, convinced that is the entire world. Subsequently, they are eventually to leave and discover their real roots, from a planet far far away. So this children’s book is part social commentary, part science fiction. However, if you read it as pure fun, that is what you’ll get.
I don’t know if my interest would hold for the other books in the Bromeliad Trilogy, since often a long-running joke gets old. But some children might stay with all three books; I don’t know. The humor requires a certain amount of sophistication, so I would say at least 10, if not 11, and up. Good writing and a satisfying commentary on life. The other two books are called Diggers and Wings.