Is this class worse than yours?
15th May 20

Is this class worse than yours?

Look out for biscuit battles, killer dogs and escaping rats in THE WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD, the start of a hilarious new series by JOANNA NADIN, illustrated by RIKIN PAREKH.

We asked author JOANNA NADIN to tell us more about her new series, THE WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD:

Q: What is your new book, The Worst Class in the World, about?

A: According to their headmistress Mrs Bottomley-Blunt, 4B are LITERALLY the worst class in the world. But best friends Stanley Bradshaw and Manjit Morris don't agree. They're just busy having fun with their BRILLIANT ideas. The problem is, those ideas have a habit of going a little bit wrong.

Q: At school, would you have been in the 'perfect' class, 4A, or the worst class, 4B?

A: I'm afraid to say I would either have been in the perfect class 4A, or I'd have been Penelope Potts from 4B, who is always bossing everyone around and telling them off. She hates being in trouble. That's why this book was so much fun to write - I could get up to shenanigans without getting on the wrong side of the teachers.

Q: If you found yourself in class 4B, which of the children do you think would be your closest friend?

A: Morris, without a doubt, who is based on my little brother, James, who told fantastical lies, but was also brilliant at inventions. And Stanley Bradshaw, of course, who is a mixture of all my real friends in one.

Q: Although the children get things wrong, 4B are still a lovable bunch - are there any particular qualities that you'd like your readers to take from the characters within these stories?

A: They're curious about the world, and they try their best at everything, both of which I think are important. Most important of all, though, is to have a sense of humour, and they all definitely have that (even Penelope Potts sometimes).

Q: The stories in this book revolve around biscuits and 'show and tell', both of which go badly wrong. Did any real life incidents help inspire them?

A: The biscuit story was actually inspired by my daughter and her best friend secretly making a 'potion' in which they put all manner of expensive and strange things from my bathroom. They didn't try to sell this, but they did fling it at my ceiling, which wouldn't have been so bad except the potion was bright red and my ceiling was white.

As for show and tell, that came from me wondering every week when my daughter was at primary school: wouldn't it be so much more fun if real pets were allowed, not just toys?

Q: What else have you got planned for 4B, and how many books about The Worst Class in the World are you planning to write?

A: There's another book out next year, with two more adventures in. These involve a day trip to the zoo, and some penguin 'borrowing', as well as a disastrous stint as playground monitors when Manjit breaks the school toilets. And my head's bursting with ideas for more after that.

Q: What was the worst thing you ever did at school?

A: I was once sick on someone else's plate at lunch and blamed it on them (sorry, Julia).

Q: The Worst Class in the World is illustrated by Rikin Parekh, do you have a favourite illustration from the book?

A: It's actually on the front cover, and it's the ghost pigeon who haunts the Smelly Death Log, having a poo.

Q: Have you read any other funny children's books lately that you'd like to recommend to our members?

A: Yes - I recommend some of my childhood favourites, which are still hilarious today: the Arabel's Raven series by Joan Aiken, and the Nicholas series by Goscinny and Sempe.

Q: Where is your favourite place to write, and what is your go-to writer's snack?

A: In a cafe, with lots of noise going on, but someone to bring me tea and scones (two answers in one).

Q: What are you writing at the moment?

A: Right now I'm writing a funny book for grown-ups, and trying to think of more shenanigans for Stanley and Manjit to get up to.

Q: What do you do to escape from your desk / laptop?

A: In the summer, I swim in the river near my home in Bath. In the winter, I read. Books are the best escape - you can travel anywhere and do anything, all without leaving your sofa.

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