Little Badman & the Invasion of the Killer Aunties, by Humza Arshad & Henry White, Ill by Aleksei Bitskoff


So, I’ve spent the last few days thinking endlessly about those sweet deep-fried little balls of goodness – galub jamun. And I’ve got YOU to blame for this Humza and Henry. I’ve seriously gained weight reading this book. If I do a repeat read, I’m in danger of not fitting into my seasonal party jumpsuit. Never has a book spoken so loudly to my, errrm, tummy. But you know what? It tickled my funny bone too. Humza and Henry set out to write “the funniest book ever”. I reckon they succeeded.

Little Badman is a fast-paced, sci fi adventure about two besties, 11-year old rappers Humza and Umer, who are laying down a rap track that’s going to make them famous. But when their music teacher suddenly ups and disappears (along with all the other teachers in the school) the besties start to get a bit suspicious. The teachers are mysteriously replaced by Pakistani aunties bustling about in their fluorescent shalwar kameezes, force feeding all the students; intent on fattening everyone up. But Humza and Umer aren’t having it. Something’s not quite right and they set out to solve the mystery.

This book is all kinds of crazy. It’s got cricket, an awesome Grandpa who’s not really a Grandpa, but an Uncle but not really an Uncle, an unbearably embarrassing Dad, ironclad friendships and big belly laughs. I dare you not to chortle. Best of all, it’s a welcome, fresh breath of diversity in children’s literature. In Humza’s words… “it’s gonna be big”.

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