‘What, How + Why: A manual of Better English’ describes itself as ‘the go-to guide for anyone who wants to improve their English’ and for many people it will do precisely what it says on the packet. The approachable and informal style Peter Inson uses will, without doubt, help those who find formal texts impenetrable to improve their written English. However, this book is unlikely to suit younger children and is more suited to the home educating parent or older child.
Parents using a more structured learning approach could readily use this book as a resource from which to extract English lessons, whereas those who are less structured might well find it useful when writing education reports for their local authorities. A great many parents lack confidence in their written English and could gain such confidence with this work at hand. Unfortunately for Peter Inson, our chosen reviewer is something of a grammar fiend and we struggled to prevent a hissy fit when a grammatical faux pas was spotted, particularly as the author has committed the cardinal sin of using the much despised ‘Oxford comma’. The author can take heart however, as if our reviewer can read the full book and have so little fault to find, he has achieved something quite unusual.