Better Out Than In

Written by Adam Wallace
Adam’s Website

Illustrated by Heath McKenzie
Heath’s Website


Jojo Publishing

RRP $14.99 AUD

My introduction – this book is good. I liked it. Read it. You will like it too. If you have a soul.

If not, I have some bad news.

Diving head first into the world of gore, Adam Wallace’s Better Out Than In breaks conservative boundaries without hesitation. Delicious illustrations, poetry as light as air, and words sculpted with song and beauty? No.

Snot. Lots of snot. I might add, beautifully pencilled snot at that. The author of The Negatees and The Share-a-Not, Adam hits yet another home run – straight into the imaginative (and sometimes terrifying) minds of children everywhere. Let’s face it, kids love tales of grot and gross, and will immediately place this fantastic collection of tales and sticky situations into their favourites.

The finger comes out, Nancy stops to listen,

Some snots on the end, and boy, does it glisten.

Books of this genre are un-avoidable, Roald Dahl did it, Andy Griffiths did it, and now this controversial classic is sure to terrorise parents and teachers just as well. Kids love books they can relate to and have a chuckle whilst reading, and will somehow be relaxed with a friendly – “We’ve all been there, kid” message. Bad days at school will be forgotten, and upon opening, a much-needed dose of young person language warms your heart.

When mum doesn’t want to hear about your newly discovered snot ball that looks remarkably like Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars, Better Out Than In is a great book to sit down with for a few giggles, no matter how old you say you are!

Now you’re worried, so you exit stage right,

As you head for the bathroom your dog yelps in fright.

You look in the mirror. There it is. It’s simple.

You have probably the world’s biggest pimple.

All of us have been there. Well, I personally have never made an ash tray entirely out of ear wax, but you can appreciate one’s reasons for doing it. It is after all, a great use of nature’s resources. Environment first, kids.

Adam’s brilliant rhymes are complimented by some quite literally explosive illustrations by Melbourne-based art genius Heath McKenzie. The result is a fantastic cocktail of humour and larger-than-life body upsets. Both Adam and Heath’s fun personalities are imprinted in each page, drawing the reader into a wonderful comic collaboration that is very hard to ignore. This book was made to share, I myself read my favourite bits aloud to my family (I have a limited number of friends but if I had more I would definitely share this book with them).

In conclusion, a fantastically grotesque must-read, and hopefully, the foundation of many tales to come from this talented author.

Watch this space for more of Adam Wallace, an instant favourite of Bug in a Book. After all, he is a Collingwood supporter, which is always a good thing. Two thumbs and four paws up from me and my office assistants.

A Bug in a Book Review by Danielle Bagshaw.

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