The gross, the gruesome and the grubby are celebrated in this children’s comedy. Ten Nasty Little Toads are ten short stories, each chronicling the vomitous behaviour of an especially horrible child. It is an antidote to fairy tales and a fun collection of alternative bedtime stories. Cherry Oddfellow is a dirty little toad, who, literally, never takes a bath, and becomes a hideous monstrosity of germs and grime. But even Cherry seems clean and innocent compared to Jacques LaConk, who really is a disgusting little toad. Children will empathise with Jacques’ rather common habit of picking his nose, but his passion for collecting scabs and trapping bodily gases in jars will turn even the strongest of stomachs. Tim Archibold’s colourful cartoons make such revolting elements of the story even more real.
Other revolting characters include a spoiled little brat who requires intergalactic intervention to mend his ways, and a pair of junk food-guzzling twins who undertake a war on fruit and vegetables.
Each tale begins with a description of the nasty little toads’ horrid habits, before new characters are introduced to teach the terrors a lesson or deliver punishment upon them. The individual stories are enjoyably simple and silly, though storytelling is secondary at all times to lengthy, indulgent descriptions of the children’s dirty habits. This will offer instant glee to its juvenile audience, but means that few of the stories are likely to live long in the memory.