Curiously pedantic beyond his almost seven years of age, Tim Odlum narrates this tale of inner demons that (literally) seem to lurk behind the tonsils.
An illustrated short story by John Robbins it falls into that category of childrenís literature where adults too can enjoy the proceedings as the wry humour throughout it keeps escaping Timís funny bone and is for the readerís benefit.
Itís a very soundly told story. The story opens with the slightly Ďmard arseí Tim (Iím sorry, I canít think of a better adjective!) shying away from a large promotional Barney the Dinosaur in the street, disgusted that he can see Ďanotherí Barney inside the costumed mouth. This inspires Timís overactive imagination to convince himself that he can see peopleís inner demons in the same way. Starting with the school Bully, ĎBig Bumí, his daily tormentor, soon all the kids in class are paying attention to Timís special powers and the story escalates to itís funny and poignant ending.
Although told in the first person narrative, the reader is given room to identify with the exasperated and disinterested adults around the narrator. Although the adult level is undeniable it manages to stay true to the childís point of view due to a playfulness in the language. A matter of some curly-wurgency to the author, evidently.
The story is coupled with pen and ink illustrations, which despite being quite expressive and match the tone of the story, arenít of the same quality as the writing.
Having said that, Little Demons is very good and easily the equivalent of lots of currently published, short format kidís books.
By John Robbins