Every generation has its ‘bogeyman’.

You know, that spooky, creepy character that your mum warned would come for you when you were a kid if you didn’t eat your dinner, go to bed on time or was being plain cheeky.

Today’s bogeyman for errant children is brought to life in the form of Mr. Gahdzooks, a mischievous figure who feeds off the naughtiness of children everywhere.

Tall, dark and rather sinister looking, he hovers around corners taking note of every transgression. Forget your ‘please and thank yous’, break wind without so much as an ‘excuse me’, don’t eat all your greens or leave the dirty dishes in the sink, Mr. Gahdzooks sees all, knows all and he will come for you!

Inspired by the challenges of being a young father raising a young son, Julian Vassell has created a memorable character, that I’m sure will stay in the minds of young children everywhere.

Playing on the tradition of Aesop fables and the Anansi stories, Mr. Gahdzooks is a modern morality tale designed to encourage good manners and behaviour in children. I thought the rhyming narrative was a nice touch, as well as the illustrations which both made for an engaging and fun read.

Review by Priscilla Owusu

Purchase Beware The Curious Mr Gahdzooks and his Cautionary Tales for Naughty Children by Julian Vassell from: austinmacauley.com