I have previously written about Bruno Vincentís spoof series, which parodies the adventures of Enid Blytonís Famous Five, and gives the now adult characters a new lease on life. This is the sixth instalment, which has been released in time for Motherís Day and follows in a similar vein to the other books in the series.
George knows she isnít the worldís best daughter, but even she is alarmed at how spectacularly she has failed in the gift-giving department over the last few special occasions. Having forgotten Motherís Day several years earlier, she also neglected to buy her mother birthday and Christmas presents, and failed to remember or acknowledge her parentsí wedding anniversary until it was too late. Seeing her distress, and realising that Aunt Fanny (Georgeís mum) has been almost like a second mother to them over the years, Anne, Dick and Julian decide to help George out by finding the best gift ever. But after two more failed attempts, the Five (Timmy the dog included) are at a loss at how to show their appreciation for Aunt Fanny.
George, determined not to forget Motherís Day this year, circles the date on her calendar and tries to brainstorm the best possible present for her mother, while simultaneously trying to avoid anything that might later cause them strife. But her plans are thwarted when Fanny unexpectedly comes to stay with them. Despite her amicability, or perhaps because of it, the relations between the Five and Fanny become strained and soon reach breaking point. How will the Famous Five cope with their unexpected visitor? Why is Fanny really in London? Will George be able to find the best Motherís Day present for Fanny and redeem herself?
This novel has exactly the right mix of humour and nostalgia. The original drawings scattered throughout the text work perfectly with the scenes they are meant to illustrate and add to the charm of the book. Anybody who enjoyed Bruno Vincentís previous parodies, or who enjoyed the original Famous Five series will likely appreciate this latest twist on the quintetís adventures.