Angus worships his two younger siblings and helps his much- married, actress mother to take care of them. But he is tired of his "Mr Dependable" tag and starts to resent his mum's perpetual flirtations with unsuitable men that leave him, quite literally, holding the baby while husbands one, two and three get on with their own lives. And when taking care of the little ones threatens to interfere with rehearsals for the school play, Angus decides that something has to be done, especially when he realises that his errant and incredibly fertile mother could well be en- route to another pregnancy.
Morris Gleitzman is in fine form in this complex, funny and totally endearing tale which successfully turns the coming-of-age clich&eactue; upside down, presenting us with a young boy with the weight of responsibility on his shoulders as he tries to find a way to enjoy his childhood. As ever, Gleitzman shines in one of the best books a child is ever likely to read. --Susan Harrison