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The Goody

Written by Lauren Child

Illustrated by Lauren Child

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 5+ readers Featured Books for 7+ readers

LoveReading View on The Goody

Wry, subtle humour, perfectly observed child psychology and an important message

The multi award-winning past Children’s Laureate demonstrated, with her best-selling Charlie and Lola series, that she has an exquisite touch in depicting family dynamics, sibling relationships, how children’s minds work and how they talk to each other. In this brilliant new book, her unerring eye might even cause a little discomfort in some families and classrooms. Caregivers and teachers may recognise that they have unconsciously developed a certain narrative about certain children. Chirton Krauss is a very good child by inclination and his kind nature. His sister Myrtle is never described as good and in a self-fulfilling prophesy, continues not to be good. Her behaviour has consequences (not invited to any parties) but generally she ‘gets away’ with it so that others can have a quiet life. But the glances and body language of the siblings that Child captures so well, show us very clearly that this is not the whole story. Chirton begins to question the unfairness of this situation since he really, really does not like broccoli (I love how Child captures in many of her books the heightened significance we have given vegetables in our children’s lives). The consequences of his acting out mean that Myrtle gets a chance to be good (and attend a party for a child, new to the neighbourhood, who does not know her reputation) and in delicious irony gets given a Goody Bag! We realise that Myrtle has been unjustly compartmentalised just as much as Chirton has a reputation to live up to. This clever and amusing tale will prompt plenty of discussion about behaviour and fairness and it absolutely defends the rights of the child to be themselves and not just our vision of them, as befits a book written by a Unesco Artist for Peace. 

Find out more about Lauren Child, her books, characters and inspirations in our Guest Editor feature.


Joy Court

The Goody Synopsis

Chirton Krauss is a good child - the very goodest. He does everything he is told, when he is told. He even does good things without being told. He eats his broccoli, he goes to bed on time and he never, ever sticks his finger up his nose. Meanwhile, Chirton's sister, Myrtle, is NOT a good child. She stays up late, she never cleans out the rabbit's hutch and she drops her choco puffs all over the carpet! But what will happen when Chirton Krauss decides that being THE GOODY isn't so good after all?

A charmingly funny story about the importance of kindness, and allowing children the freedom to be themselves.

From Lauren Child, multi-award-winning creator of Charlie and Lola and Waterstone's Children's Laureate 2017-2019.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781408347584
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Publisher: Orchard Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781408347584
Publication date: 3rd September 2020
Author: Lauren Child
Illustrator: Lauren Child
Publisher: Orchard Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 32 pages
Suitable for: 5+ readers, 7+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories

About Lauren Child

A World Book Day Author 2019 The Children's Laureate  Lauren Child burst on to the children’s books scene in 1999 and has since published many bestselling and awardwinning books, including those featuring the hugely popular Charlie and Lola, and the Clarice Bean series. She has won numerous awards including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal and the Smarties Gold Award. Her books have been made into an award-winning TV series and have sold in many languages with runaway success.  In December 2008 she was named as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, and was awarded an MBE in 2009. Lauren Child is ...

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