Thursday, 2 August 2012

A review of "Farmer Clegg's Night Out" written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Jim Field

Hi Folks in the Smoke,
   Bently and Field's new offering is giggly and fun, but it's no Cats Ahoy - more's the pity.

   Famer Clegg wearily retires for the evening, but in his barn the animals are gathering for a rustic talent show, the "Tractor Factor". There are some wonderful acts, a break-dancing equine, a body-popping bovine and a group of serenading porcines. There are twin sheep, reminiscent of recent TV show fan favouites, and a cranky judge on the panel, to boot. But the surprising finale features a sleep-dancing Clegg who steals the show.

   Bently's turn of phrase and twist of rhyme are as lovely as ever. But this tale lacks the joyous surprise conclusion of earlier hits, I'm afraid. I did love the Honky Tonk Geese, though, they reminded me of the flock on my garndparents' farm.

   Field's illustrations are detailed and brimming with character. The animals are wonderful and the hidden jokes are fun to spot, in particular the bashful ugly duckling and the ingenious auditorium snacks of grass-in-bags.

   While "Farmer Cleggs's Night Out" is an enjoyable story, I'm slightly worried it might not have the longevity of previous Bently stories as it's talent show references might date it quickly.

   Thanks for reading,

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