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Book reviews: 4-7 years

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By Sheena Hurst and Sam Ratcliffteachers and job share partners

Sheena Hurst and Sam Ratcliff, job share partners at St Paul’s School in Chippenham, get their class twittering over a selection of bird books

Miki

Miki by Stephen Mackey (Hodder Children’s Books, ISBN 9780340950647)

Miki is a beautifully crafted and atmospheric story set in an icy, dark, distant place. The language of the story has a poetic, rhythmic and expressive quality. The book introduces us to the main character Miki, in her furry winter clothes, and her companion, Penguin. We know that something special is about to take place because the first words in the book are ‘On Midwinter Eve when an icy wind blew, The Moon weaved her magic and wishes came true.’ Miki expresses her wish to Penguin, saying ‘I wish we could find just a little tree’. As she says this on Midwinter Eve, the Moon’s magic becomes apparent.

This is a story that explores several themes including adventure, friendship and courage. The author blends fantasy with wonder, and builds suspense in a subtle yet effective way. The children in our class were especially fascinated by the giant eye of the mother octopus.

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