When I picked up Our Gags, by Catriona Hoy, I thought this is going to be a book full of jokes, but it wasn’t.

Our Gags in this instance are not pranks or puns – Our Gags is ‘our grandmother’ and even though this book isn’t full of jokes, it’s still hilarious.

Our Gags is in the Walker Stories series so its three small stories about the one person – Gags.

In the first story, The Gags Machine, “Our Gags” takes over the running of the house while Mum looks after the new baby.

Gags has it all under control – the housework, the cooking, the dress ups. Clearly, every household needs a Gags Machine.

In the second story, Gags Ahoy, Gags shows that she’s more than just a machine. She also loves to play. Gags is the troll under the bridge, she walks the plank and pretends to be sat on by an elephant – she’s even part of the pirate crew.

Finally, the reader is introduced to Gags on Holiday. Gags goes to the beach, she makes funny faces to distract the baby, she plays ball and makes a great audience for an impromptu show.

Gags is the sort of grandma that everyone loves – busy, funny and full of fun. Young readers will love hearing about her antics. Those who don’t have a grandma like Our Gags will definitely want one.

I love the action and imagery in this book.

“Hmph,” says Gags as she loads the washing machine. I help her chase the socks that have escaped into the hall.

This is a simple story brought to life by Catriona Hoy’s witty text and Annabelle Josse’s gorgeous black and white illustrations.

With three entertaining short stories designed to build reader confidence, The Walkers Stories are the ‘perfect first step into fiction’.

With it’s hilarious illustrations and heartwarming text, Our Gags is another great addition to the series.


Enter the competition at Catriona Hoy’s blog today www.catrionahoy.blogspot.com



Catriona Hoy is the author of many much loved picture books including My Granddad Marches on Anzac Day, George and Ghost and Puggle. Her latest book, Our Gags is her first venture into longer works and it’s published by Walker Books.

Catriona has kindly allowed her main character, Caitlyn to visit Kids’ Book Capers today and tell us what makes her grandma (her Gag) so special.


Caitlyn, you are the main character in ‘Our Gags,’ tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

Well, I’m about four years old and we just have a new baby in our family. Mum used to have lots of time to play with me but now she’s really busy with that new baby. Luckily, we have Gags to save us.She’s my grandma.

Some days there is a lot of mess around….and smells. Who would think that something so small could smell so bad! Gags comes around to help mum with the house but really she comes to play with me. She is really good at playing games.

Why do you call your grandma ‘Gags,’ is it because she is funny?

She is funny but that’s not why I call her Gags. Mum says, when I was little, I used to say ‘ma ma’ for Mum and ‘da da’ for Dad and ‘ga ga’ for Grandma. So I kept calling her Gaga, even when I was quite big. Now I am really grown up though, I call her Gags for short.

Are all the stories in the book true?

Most of them, especially in the first story. Mum wrote that one first. Gags is really good at cleaning things and she doesn’t like mess. She finds things that are lost, she can make play doh and she loves dressing up too. Gags is also really good at the playground because she plays billy goats gruff on the wobbly bridge. Mum pushes the pram but Gags and me are very busy having fun.

Even the dog in the book is our dog, Leisha. She is a labrador and she loves to eat and eat. She came on holiday with us when we took Gags.

And my Dad really loves the smell when he walks in the door when Gags has been visiting. It smells like cleaning and cooking! Dad doesn’t mind vacuuming but he likes it better when Gags does it!

At first, you don’t seem to find the new baby very interesting, what do you think now?

She was really boring at first. She just slept and ate but it was a lot of work. But then, she got more interesting and I could help feed her and change her nappy. Sometimes I play with her too and can give her a cuddle. She can be part of our games and get eaten by wild teddies and things.

What’s your favourite part of the book.

Hmm, I like the part where Gags is playing that she is being sat on by an elephant and a man comes along and thinks she is having a heart attack.

The author, Gags, Caitlyn (now 13) and that baby Kiera (now 10)

What does Gags think about her story?

Gags is a bit proud that she is in a book. She made mum change some bits though. Mum was trying to make a good story, so she made Gags get stuck in a slide at the playground. Gags didn’t like that so Mum had to change it. That’s why she put the elephant book in. Mum hopes Gags knows she loves her when she reads the book.

Our whole family was at the book launch for our book and Gags was very happy!

(note: Caitlyn is now in year 8, her sister is in grade five and we still call grandma ‘Gags.’ We have a new labrador called Millie, who still likes to eat everything. Sadly, we have to do our own vaccuming now….but Gags still comes to visit.)

On Friday, we’ll be reviewing Our Gags here at Kids’ Book Capers.