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When Mum Went Funny

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When Mum Went Funny



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When Mum Went Funny by Jack Lasenby
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It's war-time and Dad's away, so Mum has to run the farm. Sometimes the stress of it all gives her funny ideas, in this hilarious tale by a much-loved, award-winning junior fiction author. 'You wait till Constable Cuff hears about this a We're going to tell everybody in the district you sold your children for sixpence.' In When Mum Went Funny, the cry of mothers everywhere is heard loud and clear. Ideas like trying to sell off the children, making nail soup and sleeping out in a haystack to catch whoever's 'bandicooting' the potatoes. When Mum gets that look in her eye, the children go on high alert. They watch Kate, to see how worried they should be, because Kate, the eldest, is an even match for her Mother. Their frequent battles of wit and will-power keeps everyone entertained. In spite of Mum's tricks and grumbles, she never loses control; the children know they can rely on her, even as they try to frustrate her at every turn. Mum's mischievous tugging at the rug under her children's feet provides lots of delicious fun and fretful anxiety. In this gently comic novel, Lasenby draws a heart-warming but unsentimental portrait of a family and community under duress, and of a mother who channels her exasperations into inventive ploys that not only help save her own sanity, but also bring grist and intrigue to family life.

Author Biography

Jack Lasenby is one of our finest writers for children. 'Perhaps the most innately New Zealand writer of all New Zealand writers for children,' according to Margaret Mahy (NZ Listener). He has been recognised by being awarded the 2014 Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement - for Fiction. He writes of heartland New Zealand - small towns, farms, and the bush, of the Depression era, as well as futuristic novels of great depth. He's 'observant, erudite, witty and often caustic'. His novels inspired Judith Holloway to rank him with Margaret Mahy and Maurice Gee as 'children's writers whose themes, originality and sheer literariness makes them almost as important and entertaining to adults' (NZ Books). John Marsden wrote of Lasenby's post-apocalypse title Because We Were the Travellers, that it was, 'Intense, vivid, poetic - a cruel and beautiful book.' Jack Lasenby was born in Waharoa, New Zealand in 1931. During the 1950s he was a deer-culler and possum trapper in the Ureweras. He's a former school teacher, lecturer in English at the Wellington Teachers' College, and editor of the School Journal. Jack Lasenby has been awarded many fellowships including the Writer's Fellowship at the Victoria University of Wellington, the Writer in Residence at the Dunedin College of Education, the Sargeson Fellowship in Auckland and was awarded the prestigious Margaret Mahy Medal in 2003 and the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book in 2012 for his first collection of stories, Uncle Trev. The Jack Lasenby Award was established by the Wellington Book Association in 2002. He's the author of over 30 books for children, which include the Aunt Effie series, the Uncle Trev titles, 'The Sedden Street Gang' trilogy, 'The Travellers' quartet and the Harry Wakatipu books. He has been the recipient many times of the most highly regarded children's book awards: the Esther Glen Medal, the Aim Children's Book Award, and the New Zealand Post Children's Book Award. His award-winning books include The Lake, The Conjuror, The Waterfall, The Battle of Pook Island, Because We Were the Travellers and most recently, in 2009, the New Zealand Post Junior Fiction Award for Old Drumble and in 2012, the New Zealand Post Young Adult Fiction Award for Calling the Gods. The characters who inhabit Lasenby's stories vary enormously: from the anarchic and street-smart gang in Dead Man's Head to the hilarious and ludicrous, lazy pack-horse Harry Wakatipu; from the green canvas invalid's pyjama wearing Aunt Effie who leads her 26 nieces and nephews on a wild ark ride over the Vast Untrodden Ureweras to the lone boy and old woman who are the Travellers. Jack Lasenby lives in Wellington where he cares for his much-loved garden, and sets aside time most days for writing and reading.
Release date Australia
September 8th, 2006
Country of Publication
New Zealand
Longacre Press
Interest Age
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