The Horribly Haunted School
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Preoccupied with her attempt to win the National Jigsaw Puzzle Championship, Mrs Merryandrew dumps her son Monty at his new school, the Brinsley Codd School for Sensible Thought. As he is allergic to ghosts, Monty knows instantly that the school is haunted. There are some weird characters in this bizarre tale: used car salesman Scrunley Filcher, Avery Crispin - the rickshaw man, and the stereotyped jealous deputy head with a guilty secret, Mr Sogbucket. The plot does not go off quite so tangentially as Mahy's recent Tingleberries, Tuckertubs & Telephones and it all comes together at the end but be prepared to explain some of the more adult puns and phrases. The 'Department for National Despair' is a Pythonesque concept which is not easily explained to a nine-year-old. Skillfully detailed black and white hatched illustrations assist the audience only partially. An acquired taste.