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Fungus the Bogeyman

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Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs is fantastic and intriguing read for children aged between seven and eleven.

Of course being a pixie type person myself I firmly believe in the little people that live at the bottom of gardens and in enchanted woods and forests. This Gala Films production with screenplay by author Mark Haddon, featuring live-action humans and animated Bogeys, was nominated for five awards.In it we visit Fungus’s house (complete with all sorts of slimy, yucky bits that are revealed as you lift flaps and pull levers), before he goes out to do his work frightening humans. A three-part adaptation, featuring Timothy Spall as the title character, aired on Sky1 in December 2015 [4] and was partly shot at West London Film Studios. Deep down underground, in the dark, dripping tunnels of bogeydom, live the bogeys, a vile collection of slimy, smelly creatures who revel in everything revolting. Fungus the Bogeyman is a lovingly created work of art, with as much care and thought in the words as in the images.

Briggs uses hilarious wordplay and cultural inversions to create encyclopaedic entries about the strange place of Bogeydom, its inhabitants and customs.The Tin-Pot Foreign General and the Old Iron Woman (1984) was a scathing denunciation of the Falklands War. The book depicts the mundane details of Bogey life in loving detail, with definitions of Bogey slang and numerous annotations concerning the myths, pets, hobbies, literature, clothing and food of the Bogeys. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on a pop-up opening door on the verso of the front panel in the year of publication, "For Eileen Ireland With Best Wishes from Raymond Briggs 29 September 1982. It’s great and horrible fun for adults and kids alike – with brilliant illustrations throughout as you’d expect.

So it's a wonderful, hilarious and elaborate pop-up book full of Slime and Muck, and if it could smell would really stink! The story, such as it is, follows a day in the life of the eponymous Fungus, a hard-working Bogeyman who is going through an existential midlife crisis, questioning both his purpose and the system in which he works. In 2002 the BBC began work on a three-part TV comedy series, which ultimately aired in November 2004 and is available as a DVD, starring Clare Thomas as Jessica White, Martin Clunes as her father and Mak Wilson as Fungus. It reads almost like a comic book with incredibly detailed illustrations in individual boxes with speech bubbles or text. Well, I tried re-reading this ‘comic book’ again; but very rapidly made up my mind that whatever might have once appealed to me now definitely doesn’t.Life in Bogeydom is full of snot, smells, slime, scum and other unspeakable things, and Bogeymen live under the ground revelling in all the nastiness imaginable. And even considering that many children do seem to massively relish and cherish humour based on bodily functions and liquid excretions, I do have to wonder whether the massive amounts of the latter occurring in Fungus the Bogeyman might well end up being potentially distracting and even too much of a "good thing" (so much so as to even jade and feel dragging for children who usually enjoy this type of humour, these types of jokes). We learn about Bogey houses, their family structure, what they do for fun, how they live, the essentials of their health and well-being, and more. And I am quite frankly (and personally) getting more than sick and tired of rather too often encountering especially picture or comic books geared towards children that have a presentation style that seems to not at all take the importance of visual comfort while reading into consideration and seriously enough (as well as the potential eye strain an overly small font size can often and even likely cause).

A co-production with Pilot Theatre, the show was directed and adapted by Marcus Romer and designed by Ali Allen. Life in Bogeydom is full of snot, smells, slime, scum and other unspeakable things, and Bogeymen live under the ground revelling in allthe nastiness imaginable. I actually couldn't bear to read past the sixth page or so, once I realized that it was just a way-too-wordy Bizzaro Superman-style reversal of everything in polite society.Amongst the information given about their lifestyle there is also a more typical storyline where Fungus wakes up, washes (in slime) and cycles to work where he ponders his role in society and the purpose of his existence!

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