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Penny Dreadful and the Horrible Hoo-hah

Penny Dreadful and the Horrible Hoo-hah

Penny Dreadful: Book 7
Penny Dreadful and the Horrible Hoo-hah

  • Three fantastically funny Penny Dreadful adventures in one fab book!
  • The first book in the Penny Dreadful series, ‘Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster’, was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011.

My name is not actually Penny Dreadful. It is Penelope Jones. The Dreadful bit is my dad's JOKE. Actually, I am not even dreadful at all. I didn't mean for Marlon, who is our school goat, to eat a mobile phone or do some poo that looks like chocolate drops. I only set him free because I was being a FRIEND TO ANIMALS. Also, I didn't ask to be a bridesmaid at Aunt Deedee's wedding; I just wanted to build my AMAZING TOWER OF CHAIRS. It wasn't really my fault the cake fell on Dad's head and everything turned into such a horrible hoo-hah.


Key Stage: KS2 E; Age 7+

Lexile Measure: 1460L

Book Band: 12 - Brown

BIC: C3N69

Price: £5.99
ISBN: 9781409554554
144 pages
198 x 130mm

Illustrator: Jess Mikhail

Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin was born in Northampton. She is a former broadcast journalist and Special Adviser to the Prime Minister, and continues to freelance as a political speechwriter. She has also been a cleaner and a juggler.

Visit to find out more.

Joanna Nadin

Read an extract


Chapter One

Penny Dreadful and the Best Baby-sitter EVER

 My name is not actually Penny Dreadful. It is Penelope Jones. The “Dreadful” bit is my dad’s JOKE. I know it is a joke because every time he says it he laughs like a honking goose. But I do not see the funny side. Plus it is not even true that I am dreadful. It is like Gran says, i.e. that I am a MAGNET FOR DISASTER. Mum says if Gran kept a better eye on me in the first place instead of on Jack Be Nimble in the two o’clock at Newmarket then I might not be quite so magnetic. But Gran says if Mum wasn’t so busy answering phones for Dr. Cement, who is her boss, and who has bulgy eyes like hard-boiled eggs (which is why everyone calls him Dr. Bugeye), and Dad wasn’t so busy solving crises at the council, then they would be able to solve some crises at 73 Rollins Road, i.e. our house. So you see it is completely not my fault.

Sometimes it is the fault of my sister Daisy, who is very IRRITATING. And who is especially irritating when she is trying to be a pop star with her best friend Lucy B. Finnegan, because they are mostly arguing over who is going to be the main singer and who is going to do swaying hips and doo-wops, e.g. going “I am”, “No I am”, “No I am”. So it is not my fault if I borrow the microphone while they are arguing to see if it works under water and it does not.

And sometimes it is the fault of Cosmo Moon Webster, who is my best friend even though he is a week older than me and a boy. Because if it wasn’t for his mum Sunflower (who is actually called Barbara) being so KEEN on FREEDOM and SELF-EXPRESSION, then we would not have been FREE to paint ourselves purple and pretend to be minions of Maximus Terror, leader of the Zombiebots. And then Mrs. Butterworth (who works in the post office and has a moustache and a beady eye, which is mostly on me) would not have had the HEEBIE-JEEBIES and had to go to see Dr. Cement for some tonic to recover.

And sometimes it is the fault of Dad, because he is mostly saying, e.g. “I could have been an escapologist if I hadn’t met your mum”, only Mum says he could not because he cannot even find his way out of the one-way system, let alone a locked cage. And it turns out she is right because when I lock him in the bathroom he completely cannot undo the door and has to come out of the window in only a towel, which gives Mrs. Butterworth the HEEBIE-JEEBIES again and so it is back to Dr. Cement.

But this week it is the fault of someone else completely and that is Hilary O. Henderson, and also maybe Mum, who should have said:

a)  No dressing as HOOLIGANS.

2.  No dipping things in HONEY and HUNDREDS AND THOUSANDS.


 What happens is that normally I am not KEEN on babysitters because they are mostly old people with beady eyes and moustaches, like e.g. Mrs. Butterworth, who say no you CANNOT eat fourteen biscuits and then jump up and down on the sofa to see how long it is before you are sick, you can SIT STILL and read a book about otters.

And Mum is not keen on babysitters either because they are mostly old people with beady eyes and moustaches, like e.g. Mrs. Butterworth, who say, “In my day children knew the MEANING of the word DISCIPLINE.” And Mum says I DO know the meaning, but she tests me and I do not, unless DISCIPLINE is a sort of a dinosaur. Which is why it is either Gran who is left in charge, or if it is bingo night then no one goes out, because it is NOT WORTH THE HOO-HAH.

Press Reviews

The characters are very well drawn and the language just right to draw in young readers... The illustrations are just as funny as the stories and capture the expressions of the characters wonderfully well.
Parents in Touch