I have been watching the ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ series lately, and it has reminded me of how much my sister and I loved the book by Raymond Briggs that inspired the series, when we were horrid little girls. We still call each other ‘drearie’ to this day.
Fungus’ world inverted ours; everything yucky and stinky was seen as right and proper. As a book, it was wonderful. It fired our yucky imaginations and created a world where it was OK to talk about all manner of slime and stinky gases. We found this delightful!
As a series, Fungus sadly did not deliver. It tried hard (perhaps too hard?), and worked visually, but I found the series a bit dull compared to the book. It’s not because I am an adult now, and the series was not aimed at me. My inner stinky child is alive and well, and comes out to play regularly, as evidenced by my writing for the Too Ghoul for School series (as ‘B. Strange’), alongside the rather wonderful Tommy Dombavand. These books were full of stinky, sewer-based fun and were even produced for the Ninetendo DS !
However, I think it is safe to say that reading the Fungus book influenced me; I am very happy writing about slugs, slime and all manner of grim things in my books for children. I am grateful for the permission that the book gave me to revel in that rather dank world – and I don’t think I ever truly left! I write plenty of rather more ‘sensible’ and grown up books – but I don’t think I’ll ever be done with being silly and playing in the dirt.