The Parent Agency by David Baddiel Review

Reviewed by Jenny Bennett

I must firstly say how much I enjoyed reading this book! I managed to squeeze reading it in between my daughter’s naps and once she’d gone to bed – I really didn’t want to put it down.

Barry Bennett is the main character and Barry is a bit fed up with the life that’s been handed to him. Barry’s parents are too boring, too poor, too normal and the biggest crime they had was calling him Barry. Barry lives with his Mum and Dad in their boring house with his annoying sisters. Barry thinks everything is terrible and he’s pretty sure it’s his parents fault. They can’t even get his birthday right.

One day after an argument Barry is sent to his room where he wishes and wishes he had different parents. The room shakes, magic happens and Barry is soon transported to the United Kid-Dom where children get to pick their parents.

Barry has to find new parents before he turns 10 so he spends the next 5 days meeting different parents who all have to throw him birthday parties and at the end he’ll choose his new parents.

The adventure continues with Barry finding out that rich parents, famous parents, parents who let you do what you want, parents who are never tired and parents who treat you like their favourite aren’t really that great either. Barry learns that sometimes, just sometimes, what might seem boring sometimes is actually rather brilliant and sometimes his other parents actually got it right.

This would be a great book to read with your little ones and there is enough to keep parents amused. There were enough real world references to make me smile a few times – like the famous parents who already have one child from every country so can’t have another, the young cockney chef who calls everyone mate or the rich couple who give their children very long and very unusual names.

I’d say it’s a book for early teens and maybe a little younger but it would be a great bedtime book with plenty of opportunity for voices and fun. The chapters are quite short so it’s well suited to quiet bedtime reading.

It’s a well written and well-presented hardback book that would make a great birthday or Christmas gift – highly recommended and a really lovely read.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £12.99 (hardback), £10.99 (paperback)

Available to buy from Amazon here.


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