Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Donut Diaries of Dermot Milligan as told by Anthony McGowan

The Donut Diaries of Dermot Milligan as told by Anthony McGowan (August 2011, Corgi Childrens, ISBN: 0552564370)

Review: This is the first instalment of eleven-year-old Dermot Milligan's Donut Diaries. Dermot is rather partial to the cakes with the less fattening centre, so much so that he's been sent to a nutritionist (à la Gillian McKeith). If he doesn't reduce his donut intake and lose some weight then he will be sent, humiliatingly, to "Camp Fatso". To help him, he is advised to keep a diary to explore his feelings. Which turns out to be a good thing for the reader as Dermot engagingly relates a catalogue of mishaps, resulting from his own nervousness as well as more seriously from bullying, plus details of the new dietary regime he's supposed to be following.

Dermot has just started a new, posher, school so not only has he got to make friends but also avoid being teased. However he is picked on within minutes by a boy he nicknames the "Floppy-haired kid" who will become his nemesis throughout this book and beyond (I imagine).

The Donut Diaries had me giggling away, though do be aware it contains gross-out humour in parts especially as Dermot has to give a very special sample to the nutritionist later on so she can see what he's been eating... It also touches on all the problems of joining a new school and mixing old and new friends and coping with an embarrassing (to Dermot) family.

This is a diary which focuses more on words than pictures but there are plenty of illustrations by David Tazzyman, including a daily donut count.

The suggested reading age on the back is 9+, and the sequel, which I'm looking forward to, Revenge is Sweet, is due out in January 2012.

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