Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent is the only child of two “frightfully, frightfully rich” parents. “They knew simply everyone who was anyone. But, after a while, they began to tire of the same old places and face, and wanted to meet someone new. So they decided to have a child.”
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This book is funny enough to keep me entertained as I read it over and over to my kids. Written by Lauren Child, creator of Charlie and Lola, Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton-Trent has the same whimsical illustration and charm of her other books.
Hubert is extremely intelligent. He “was a natural at almost everything – with the notable exceptions of cake baking and flower arranging.” Hubert and his parents love playing board games and all three are “committed cocoa drinkers.” Their house is so big, when Hubert visits his parents’ room to say good night every night, his hot cocoa is cold when he arrives at their room, which is a problem for a committed hot cocoa drinker.
One day, Hubert discovers that the Bobton-Trents are no longer frightfully rich. He and his super smart best friend, Stanton Harcourt III, come up with an idea for his parents to become professional board game players, and they win lots of tournaments and prize money. But, because the Bobton-Trents were so generous, they would take all the other contestants out to dinner, which didn’t help their situation.
Next, Hubert and Stanton decide to sell tickets for tours of the Bobton-Trent’s house. His parents are so happy to have guests, they start inviting them back and entertaining everyone.
Finally, Hubert decides they need to move to a small apartment. He thinks his parents will hate it, but they end up loving it there. There are always people available to play games with them, and Hubert’s hot cocoa is still warm when he comes to say good night. “And Hubert realized that being frightfully, frightfully rich was not frightfully important to his parents after all.” All of my kids like this book. Liam and Paul enjoy the story, and the girls enjoy the illustrations. As you can see from the photos, we have a much-loved copy of this book. Even thought Hubert’s parents seem distant and sort of air-headed, I like the message that happiness is found at any income level. FYI: Hubert’s parents are drinking and serving alcohol in several illustrations.
Interested in reading this book?
I picked this book up at my local bookstore, and you can probably find it at the library if it isn’t permanently checked out!
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