Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Guy Bass

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Gary Bass

Based on the well-known Groundhog Day premise, this is an entertaining story packed with fun scenarios. It’s dyslexia friendly.

Anna and her brother are very different. Anna is obsessed with time. She’s always prepared and is never late. Every day she catches the bus at exactly 8.03. Her brother, in contrast, loves wasting time. He never knows where anything is and is constantly having to rush to catch the bus. It’s the same every day. Until the day that Anna gets stuck in the same sixty seconds. Suddenly, she’s forced to live the same minute over and over. And every time something different happens to stop her getting the bus. Is she stuck forever? Is there a way to escape?

Based on the well-known Groundhog Day premise, this is an entertaining story packed with fun scenarios. I very much enjoyed reading the same minute over and over again – learning to anticipate the cat, pigeon, butterfly and passing people. I especially enjoyed trying to predict what Anna would do next to try and overcome each of the hurdles (and also guess which would trip her up next!).

However, I actually found some of the other aspects of the story most appealing. I loved the succinct characterisation of Anna and her family. For example, I liked dad’s obsession with clocks and the way her brother always hides her school bag in one of three places: either in the shoe cupboard (that’s full of shoes, umbrellas and half-finished clocks), the gap under the stairs (that’s full of half-empty cans of paint and half-finished clocks), or the top of the fridge (which is, of course, covered in half-finished clocks). I also liked the lesson Anna learns at the end: you might be able to guess what this is, but I’m not going to say just in case you can’t.

The text is supplemented with some truly inspired greyscale pictures by Steve May. Taking the form of over the top stylised cartoons, the pictures are full of humour and movement. Children will probably love the way they get progressively sillier as the book continues until the climax when Anna is driven to scribbling on the wall, juggling shoes and dancing with an umbrella.

As a final point, it’s worth mentioning that this short book (just 66 pages of actual text) is from Barrington Stoke and, as such, is deliberately designed to support emergent, reluctant and dyslexic readers through the use of off-white paper and a dyslexia friendly font and layout.

If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out Bass and May’s other books with Barrington Stoke. These include Aidan Abet Teacher’s Pet, Noah Scape Can’t Stop Repeating Himself and Laura Norder Sheriff of Butts Canyon. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a longer book that will also make you smile why not try Grandma Dangerous and the Dog of Destiny by Kita Mitchell.

ISBN: 978-1781129166
Publication date: February 2020
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Pages: 72
Websites: Guy Bass and Steve May


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