________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 41. . . .June 26, 2015


The Ghastly McNastys: The Lost Treasure of Little Snoring. (The Ghastly McNastys; 1).

Lyn Gardner. Illustrated by Ros Asquith.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2015.
139 pp., pbk. & hc., $8.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-77138-146-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77138-128-4 (hc.).

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Sophia Hunter.

*** /4



He hadn't been able to eat his dinner either, even though Aunt Tessie had made him triple helpings of jam sandwiches. (Aunt Tessie didn't believe in giving children jam sandwiches for their dinner because jam is very bad for teeth, but she had made an exception because she thought Tat needed cheering up.) Tat had stuffed the sandwiches in his dressing gown pocket in case he felt peckish later. Tat had once eaten seventeen jam sandwiches--it had made him burp seventy-two times, which he thought might be a world record, and he didn't want to be burping all night.

Dog suddenly gave a loud mew and sat up, very alert. There was a tapping on the window. Tat leaped out of bed. On the ledge there was a bedraggled carrier seagull. It was carrying a note in its mouth. Tat quickly unfurled the paper.

He recognized the writing immediately.


In this humourous tale, a young boy and his best friend save their island and its lost treasure from evil villain pirates. The story, itself, takes a backseat to gross references of snot, burps and other bodily functions that dominate throughout. While The Ghastly McNastys: The Lost Treasure of Little Snoring is not an example of groundbreaking children's literature, it is an example of an amusing adventure that will make young readers giggle and will appeal to their love of low brow humour.

     The protagonist's family has financial problems due to his father’s losing his job running the island's lighthouse. The rest of Tat’s family leaves the island for a couple of days to sell the mother's wedding ring for money, leaving Tat alone to battle the despicable twin pirates, the McNastys. The ensuing adventure is predictable but capitalizes on every possible toilet joke that could appeal to someone under the age of 10. The fallout from the McNastys’ invasion alerts the island to the importance of the lighthouse, and Tat's father soon finds himself back at work. Despite the tidy ending, there are hints at a sequel.

      The book includes simple black and white illustrations that are typical of the style found in other chapter books, such as The Diary of a Wimpy Kid that target the same audience. These are used effectively to add comedic elements to the story, such as small pictures of the constantly runny nose of the second mate, Ms. Slime. The illustrations also break up the text, making it seem less daunting to weaker readers.

      The Ghastly McNastys: The Lost Treasure of Little Snoring is recommended with reservations. It is hard to advocate that a library or classroom collection needs this work, but there is clearly a place for “silly” books. Collections needing new selections of this type will find this book as good as any.

Recommended with Reservations.

Sophia Hunter is a teacher-librarian at Crofton House Junior School in Vancouver, BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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