Older Not Wiser (Bad Nana #1)

Older Not Wiser (Bad Nana #1)
Age Range
Release Date
March 30, 2021
Buy This Book
A wickedly funny new series for ages six and up from the creator of Where Bear?, Pass It On and the Pom Pom series, with colour illustrations throughout.

Jeanie’s Grandma is BAD. Not bad like a vampire or a gangster or anything, more like . . . up to no good. Sometimes she can be a bit embarrassing but most of the time she’s REALLY fun, especially when she gets Jeanie involved in her mischievous schemes. Everyone says she’s old enough to know better . . . but she doesn’t seem to care one bit. In fact, Jeanie thinks she might quite like it!

Bad Nana is a deliciously wicked new series for ages six and up, told through the eyes of 7 3/4-year-old Jeanie. Gorgeously illustrated throughout with vibrantly coloured spreads, Bad Nana’s naughty exploits will shock and appall – and make you snort with laughter!

Editor review

1 review
One Peppy Pensioner
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Jeanie is a big fan of her grandmother, in whose care she is often placed. She doesn't understand all of Nana's quirks (Why more sparkles? And does she really get her cat's fur dyed pink?), but she loves that her grandmother spends lots of time with her, and has an enthusiastic, and sometimes contrary, attitude. Jeanie isn't a huge fan of her younger brother, Jack, since he is annoying, and definitely doesn't like Georgina, who is stuck up and frequently bestows unflattering nicknames on Jeanie. Nana isn't a fan of Georgina's grandmother, either. After this brief introduction to our characters, we head off on two adventures; one to the local park, and one to a local history museum. Bad Nana isn't a fan of the new park keeper, who takes over their local park. Bad Nana has a favorite bench that she likes to occupy, and doesn't care for the new rules that preclude all fun. Wielding her "lippy", she crosses out all of the "NOT" parts of the signs so that the new instructions include Do Feed the Birds, Do Run, Do Sing, and Do Enjoy Yourself. The park keeper loses his temper, but Bad Nana thinks the park is more pleasant her way, and makes sure that all of the rubbish is picked up and binned properly. In the last story, Bad Nana is allowed to accompany Jeanie's school field trip after being kicked out of Jack's class for reading her murder mysteries to Jack's preschool class. The students aren't thrilled about the dusty, boring local history museum to which they have been before, and definitely do not enjoy being yelled at by the fractious caretaker. After a few mishaps, Bad Nana takes matters into her own hands and manages to amuse the students even though she gets into trouble. Jeanie comes to the conclusion that Bad Nana is "a little bit naughty and maybe even a tiny bit embarassing [but] mainly brilliant.
Good Points
This was a highly illustrated volume in two colors, similar to Gravel's Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere, Smith's Claude, or Ahn's Pug Pals. The characters have greatly exaggerated features; Bad Nana's enormous eyeglasses and startling fashions are fun to look at. Like Geronimo Stilton, the text often is larger or in different fonts to emphasize certain words, which sometimes extend across the illustrations.

This also had a very British vibe similar to Pichon's Tom Gates, although not nearly enough tea is drunk. Parks in the US (at least in the suburbs or rural areas) don't have as many fences and rules, and certainly don't have park keepers in little sheds, although that seems to be an outdated reference even in the UK.

This would make a great choice for a grandparent to read with a grandchild while they make their own plans to travel around with a well-stocked hand bag wreaking havoc and irritating stuffy people around them.
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