Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds – Guy Bass & Steve May

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds is the latest collaboration from Barrington Stoke, books superheroes in a way because they focus on creating accessible books for those with reading difficulties especially dyslexia with a specialised font, careful structure for stamina, prudent vocabulary and cream paper.

Even more so its great to see collaborations with popular writers with the intention of making their style accessible. Guy Bass is a popular writer of funny with a dark twist books like Stitch Head and Skeleton Keys who has collaborated several times with Barrington Stoke and Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds is an absolutely brilliant concentrated twist on Groundhog Day!

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Guy Bass & Steve May

Anna Gain is ALWAYS Punctual. Never ever late, in fact she sneers at her brother’s seeming pride at being late until today when a series of mishaps involving the neighbour’s cat, practically sledding down the street with another neighbour’s dog, and pesky birds means she MISSES the school bus for the first time in her life…. And then is transported back exactly to 60 seconds before over and over again. 

Is Fate trying to teach her something about the value of time spent than time measured?

Illustration from Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Steve May
Illustration from Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Steve May

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds is exceptionally funny watching Anna get ever more frustrated as she tries to work out what has happened and how to break the cycle!

From trying to problem solve the mishaps which only creates more, to a full down meltdown including a series of very funny ‘mad’ minutes including singing, pouring milk over herself, drawing on the walls and all sorts of other silly things until she regroups we really feel the panic that Anna feels she will be stuck in this same 60 seconds forever.

Anna is such a great character, perfect as a foil for the humour about to unfold as she is slightly snooty in her pride about never being late and is a little mean to her brother who doesn’t feel the same about timekeeping.

Yet equally its not nasty or judgy, its just gently teasing out the ideas of being obsessional with timekeeping and punctuality and showing really what’s the worst that can happen! This in turn asks the reader to consider where such values come from, Anna comes to realise that she has misinterpreted her father’s advice of making every second count as to count every second and make sure you’re punctual instead of living in every second and seeing what you can make of it.

Illustration from Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Steve May
Illustration from Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Steve May

Anna and her attempts to break the cycle had Littlefae and I in HYSTERICS. I mean belly aches with the extent of laughter and the illustrations by Steve May were the icing on the cake as throughout they have such a feel of physical humour and capturing the funniest part of that moment! Littlefae has insisted that we look for more of Guy’s books with Barrington Stoke.

I wouldn’t want to get stuck in time! It was very good to read! My favourite bit was when she went a bit loopy because time kept repeating and she barked, drew on the wall and singing ‘I’m Mary Poppins!’ because it was very very very funny!  

Littlefae

Barrington Stoke consistently produce excellent and more importantly exciting and engaging books that suit different age groups. Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds is such a perfectly funny book that is accessible for children aged roughly 8 and up and can be enjoyed by reluctant readers or those just wanting a quick funny read. Plus for those parents and grandparents who don’t like to buy books with toilet humour this will pass the test.

Anna Gain and the Same Sixty Seconds by Guy Bass and Steve May is published by Barrington Stoke.

Thank you so much for my copy 💜

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