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Review for Of Bairns and Wheelie Bins

  • Sat, May 13, 2023 9:50 AM
    Message # 13201081

    Title: Of Bairns and Wheelie Bins

    Author: Mary T. Wagner

    Genre:  Nonfiction, Guide to Unfamiliar Terms

    Length: 26 pages

    Publisher/Publishing Date: Waterhouse Press, LLC., March 2023

    Reviewed by: Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel, 

    Of Bairns and Wheelie Bins

    If you have recently discovered British detective shows such as “Midsomer Murders” or “Vera,” you may have been puzzled by some of the phrases and terms used on the shows. Mary T. Wagner attempts to help you decipher the wording with her short book, Of Bairns and Wheelie Bins.

    You might be tempted to skip over the prologue and go right to the guide itself, but I urge you not to do so. Her prologue gives insight into her motivation to write the book and why she felt it could be helpful. Her explanation is delightful to read and will bring a smile to your face.

    Following the prologue is a list of words and phrases often used in the British works that might be a bit confusing to Americans. Wagner lists the content in alphabetical order so that it is an easy reference. Her explanations are written to inform but often include a dash of humor. Here are a couple of my favorites. 

    Clobber – I confess that the first thing that occurs to me with the word “clobber” is something from a goofy “Three Stooges” skit where someone is going to get hit, hard. Such as “I’m gonna clobber ya!” However, across the pond, it can also refer to stuff, a/k/a crap, a/k/a a collection of personal things such as clothing or belongings.

    Toffee nosed – ordinarily I’m all for toffee (particularly when covered with chocolate!), but this means stuck-up, snobbish, pretentious, posh, supercilious.

    Helpful information with a touch of wit to lighten the mood. These easy-to-read explanations are especially useful if you are a novice to British shows. Veteran viewers may wish the author had expanded the book and offered more examples. However, I know that the next time I settle in to watch “Father Brown” or “Midsomer Murders,” Of Bairns and Wheelie Bins will be close at hand – for the explanations as well as the humor!

    Reviewer Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel enjoys writing for children. She is the author of a middle-grade book, Spies, Soldiers, Couriers, and Saboteurs: Women of the American Revolution, highlighting little-known women and their role in America’s fight for independence. She also has two picture books Three Little Ghosts, and Whoo, Whoo, Who’s Out There?

    Waldvogel is active in the Wisconsin Writers Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as writing groups in Wisconsin and Arizona.

    Read more about her at:

    Last modified: Mon, May 22, 2023 12:42 PM | Kathleen (K.M.) Waldvogel

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