Ages 7-9 [Lower Key Stage 2] 2015

50 things you should know about the Second World War, Simon Adams

QED Publishing ISBN 9781784930356 £8.99

50 Things You Should Know About The Second World War takes what can appear to be a complicated topic and makes it very accessible to younger readers. The year-by-year approach helps makes sense of the chronology of the war, and the visual presentation, using maps, timelines and photographs works really well. This is an ideal introduction to the war, providing enough information to stimulate further research. I do have two minor quibbles, however. It would have been good to have explored the experience of civilians on the Home Front in different countries, to help children realise that the experience in England was mirrored, or worse, in most other countries involved in the war. The other concern is the lack of controversy in the text. History is a contested subject, and none more so than the Second World War. It is possible, even for younger readers, to make them aware of different interpretations and views about the history of the War. Nevertheless I repeat my original point that this is a surprisingly coherent introduction to the Second World War. It would make a good addition to the school library or a ‘topic box’ on the subject.
Alf Wilkinson, The Historical Association
Online review 2015

Azzi In Between, Sarah Garland

Frances Lincoln ISBN 9781847806512 £7.99

If ever a book chimes with its times, this one does. Sarah Garland has written a graphic novel format picture book which narrates the story of Azzi and her family forced to leave their homeland - and grandma - through war. The terrors of fleeing through the night, the uncertainties of the journey and all the strangeness of arriving in a new land and hearing an unfamiliar language are depicted with real sensitivity. Luckily, Azzi soon starts school and fortunately (many teachers will find this part wishful thinking!) there is a helper who can speak her language. Gradually a strand of hope is woven into this tale as she begins to make friends and integrate into school life, where the role of the garden is to play a prominent part Grandma's absence, though, is a continuing source of distress. Will Azzi ever see her again?

Endorsed by Amnesty International and picked by the Diverse Voices Panel of 2014 as one of the top titles celebrating cultural diversity, this is an important book to have in every primary classroom. Some pupils might well be able to relate to it personally. Others will be given an important insight and discussions will be more informed. The universality of this text is a real achievement and the format a perfect and accessible vehicle for telling a story which is more and more common.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

Beautiful Beasts, Camilla de la Bedoyere, designed by Clare Barker

QED ISBN 9781784930288 £9.99

This large hardback book has a rather beautiful cover and I opened it with considerable excitement only to be met with a dauntingly heavy, pale brown, text-driven ‘Encyclopaedia Brittanica’esque explanation of earth’s different time periods and the way the rest of the book is set out. I need not have worried too much, though, as the subsequent pages have hardly any text at all (just the beasts’ proper names with their phonetic pronunciations, the relevant time period and some questions – answers on the back page). It is jammed full of detailed full-colour, although, by their very nature, mostly brown and blue, illustrations of all the beautiful (and sometimes hideous) beasts of the title. Each page has a ‘Victorian’ border and there is a general ‘faded’ feel to the book, which gives a nod to the older sections of the Natural History Museum, but this is not a bad thing. In these days of digital brightness and ephemera this book feels solid. That said, I should have liked a much clearer and bigger, and let’s face it, there’s plenty of space for it in this big book, chart of time periods for the reader to refer back to.

This is a fascinating ‘dipping in’ book or would be a useful resource for any KS2 palaeontology project work.
Debra Holmes, English teacher, Sexey’s School, Bruton, Somerset
Online review 2015

Borgon the Axeboy and the Whispering Temple, Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Philip Reeve

Faber & Faber ISBN 97810571307371 £5.99 (£3.99 ebook)

This is the third Borgon book and sees Borgon (a young and fearless barbarian) and his friends discover an abandoned temple full of secrets. They are briefly tricked by a thief disguised as an architectural restorer and end up fighting him (and his two slave-henchmen) and saving the temple from being looted. There is an interesting sub-plot that reflects on the existence (or not) of the temple’s protective and revengeful god. It’s rather a pity that the female characters only have supporting roles (the depiction of the terrifying Fulma, Borgon’s mother, so much more ferocious than his father seems a bit forced) and Grizzly’s logical approach to problems paints her as selfish (she returns to join her friends in their trouble but is not pleased at her ‘weakness’). In contrast, the initially scary snake turns out to be a helpful ally.

The storyline will appeal to its intended readership of 7-9 year olds as it is relatively straightforward and there is a balance of narrative and dialogue. There are some humorous touches, such as the pile of rotten food left as offerings for the god and the fact that much of the action takes place inside a large nose! I did wonder if today’s youngsters would recognise ‘conk’ as slang for nose and I found myself longing for clear paragraph breaks, but if you have books one and two in your class library then I am sure you will please your students should you add number three.
Debra Holmes, English teacher, Sexey’s School, Bruton, Somerset
Online review 2015

Fangs, Malorie Blackman, Illustrated by Jamie Smith

Tamarind ISBN 9781848531420 £5.99

It was love at first sight for Nathan when he spotted the beautiful tarantula in the pet shop. Luckily the shop owner was open to negotiation and accepted his limited pocket money offer, but jubilation was short-lived as he remembered what his mother always did to spiders she found in the bath or on the carpet... A weird kind of telepathy enables Fangella, the spider, to influence Nathan's thoughts, but not even she was prepared for his whacky plans to win Mum over, or their disastrous consequences! It is Fangella's quick thinking and an unexpected ally in Nathan's toddler sister that enable a happy ending. A beautifully written funny story from this master story teller which will certainly win over any arachnophobe. Nathan's love for his spider is pitted against his mother's stereotypical prejudice against these creatures borne of irrational fear. Blackman does much to try to educate her readers by including information at the end of the book in the 'Fang-tastic spider facts' section. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read for newly independent readers who will love the imaginative and very funny grey-scale illustrations, or as shared reading in Y2/3 to encourage children to read more from this author.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

Fins, Fluff and Other Stuff, Bruno Merz and Dreda Blow, illustrated by Bruno Merz

QED Publishing ISBN 9781784930424 £10.99

Often covered in the first term of school, the topic of belonging and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin is of vital importance. The young boy in Fins, Fluff and Other Stuff wonders about what life would be like if he was made out of other materials such as: sweets, water and metal. In each scenario, the boy reasons through rhyme as to why each material may not be as practical as he has originally thought. Ideal for upper KS1 or lower KS2 children, this book could be used to address the topics Belonging or Me, Myself and I. Children could think of another material that the boy could have pondered and write their own verse following the structure in the book. Alternatively, educators and parents could use the Next Steps page at the back of the book to guide activities and questioning. The activities are well thought out, age appropriate and a highlight of the book.

With its warm illustrations presented in a range of eye-catching colours, this book may encourage young readers to attempt reading independently. Children could use the illustrations to inspire their own drawings to accompany their creative verses. Overall, this book gets the thumbs up. Its sensitive content would work well in a classroom environment, in addition to supporting parents who are encouraging their children to feel comfortable in their own skin.
Lauren M. Freedman, key stage 2 teacher, Shirley Community Primary School, Cambridge.
Online review 2015

Fly on the Wall: Greek Hero, Mick Manning and Brita Granström

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN 9781847806222 £7.99

If you like your picture books with a little bit more gravitas then this is the book for you. Each double page spread is driven by big, bright but historically accurate images, telling the story of Ambrosia and her friends in Ancient Greece around 479BC. All the key ideas are explored, from Marathon and Salamis to school days and the Olympics. The illustrations are delightful, but the historical content is accurate too, making this an engaging way to begin to study the topic. My only [minor] quibble is about the final two topics ‘The End of the Greeks’; and ‘What the Greeks Left Behind’. Both of which are important in placing the Greeks in context within the key stage 2 History National Curriculum could have been a little longer and a bit more detailed. If you want a great introduction to the Ancient Greeks then this might be the book for you.
Alf Wilkinson, The Historical Association
Online review 2015

Fly on the Wall: Pharoah’s Egypt, Mick Manning and Brita Granström

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN 9781847806239 £7.99

Set in the time of Rameses II in the time around 1249BC, this follows the same format as the Fly on the Wall: Greek Hero. Driven by big, bold illustrations this is an excellent introduction to the life and times of Rameses II, and gives an accurate and up to date account of our current understanding of Ancient Egypt. Again ,I would have liked to see a little more contextualisation; of showing exactly when in the story of Ancient Egypt Rameses lives, and how that is similar to, and different from, other periods. Nevertheless this is an excellent and attractive introduction to one part of the story of Ancient Egypt.
Alf Wilkinson, The Historical Association
Online review 2015

Goal! Football around the world, Caio Vilela, illustrated by Sean Taylor

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN 9781847805973 £7.99

‘There are more than 6,000 different languages spoken on our planet. But children all over the world understand the language of football.’ This book takes us around the world, using excellent action photographs to show the universality of football. There are two types of text to each double-page spread – inspiring thoughts such as ‘Every football match is like a story. It’s full of characters, emotions and drama’ and interesting and unusual football facts from many different countries such as this from the USA: ‘They won the first Women’s World Cup in 1991 and the first women’s football Olympic gold medal in 1996’. Given such facts, it’s a little disappointing that of the 14 images, only two show girls, and they are near the end of the book, almost as an afterthought. As well as being attractive to football fans aged 5 to 9, the book could be used to inspire philosophical discussions about sport bypassing geographical and political boundaries. The author makes the point that you need very basic equipment to play and enjoy the game, so talking about the vast sums of money invested in football internationally, would also be a useful follow-up .
Pam Dowson, retired primary teacher and PGCE tutor
Online review 2015

Knight in Training Dragons Can't Swim, Vivian French, illustrated by David Melling

Hodder Children's Books ISBN 9781444922271 £4.99

Sam J. Butterbiggins has two ambitions: to change his name and to become a Very Noble Knight, but both are looking increasingly unlikely as his parents pack him off for a year to stay with his aunt, uncle and extremely annoying cousin, Prune. Aunt Egg is not only a strict disciplinarian, she also tries to boost the family funds by offering Luxury Accommodation for Dragons, Griffins and other Regal Beasts and Sam is not happy there. When Godfrey, a small dragon gets stuck down the castle well, Prune persuades Sam to collaborate with her to rescue him. In the process. Sam finds an ancient parchment scroll listing the six quests (only revealed as one per day) which need to be completed in order, to become the perfect knight. Now, who can possibly become his 'one true companion'...?

This is the first in a series of six tales from the prolific author, Vivian French, ably assisted by the illustrator of Hugless Douglas fame. Part diary, part third person narrative, it romps through the plot with convincing dialogue from wonderfully exaggerated characters. The illustrations on most pages provide caricatures of French's creations and will be a real incentive for newly independent readers perhaps moving on from more picture based fiction. Children who love the How to train your dragon books by Cressida Cowell will love these too and the taster chapter of the next episode at the end of the book will ensure they read the entire series!
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

The Milkshake Detectives, Heather Butleriot

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers ISBN 9780349124551 £5.99

Written by the Carnegie long listed author Heather Butler, The Milkshake Detectives explores several current and relevant issues that affect young children in today’s society. After being abandoned by her biological father, this book explores the emotional roller coaster of a young girl, as she begins to accept a new father figure (her stepdad) and his two spoilt sons into her life. With its positive outcome, this book is a recommended read for young girls who are experiencing a similar life change. Along with this, the young Milkshake Detective, Charlie, is on a mission to solve a community mystery with her partner of crime, Agent J. Readers may enjoy using cryptic codes to decode the girl’s secret lists of suspects. It could even inspire children to solve a few mysteries of their own! Narrated through the thought-like speech of a young girl, The Milk Detectives would capture the minds and hearts of lower KS2 girls. With its simplistic vocabulary, it would be an ideal read for someone who has recently started to enjoy chapter books.
Lauren M Freedman, key stage 2 teacher, Shirley Community Primary School, Cambridge.
Online review 2015

Nelly and the Quest for Captain Peabody, Roland Chambers

 Oxford University Press  ISBN 9780192742698  £6.99

 The story is about the exploits of a young girl, pirate Nelly and her sidekick turtle Columbus.  She goes on a voyage to find her long missing father and the story follows her exploits, including encounters with pirates and storms.  I have to say that sadly this book didn't captivate me in the least, the characters and plot seemed shallow (even for a child's book), clichéd and an attempt to jump on the bandwagon of pirates as general characters of interest for children.  I can't quite place what the problem is, it's as if the basic concept should be OK, but the whole formed by the constituent parts doesn't in my opinion work.   I have passed this to one of my class, without comment, to see if it's just me!  With that in mind, I would suggest it is suitable for age seven and above.

Rob Bilney, KS2 teacher, Llancarfan Primary School

Nixie the Bad, Bad Fairy, Cas Lester, illustrated by Ali Pye

OUP ISBN 9780192742582 £5.99

Forget sparkle, prettiness and dainty slippers, Nixie is a very different kind of fairy. Happier in gumboots in which to store her trusty spanner, Nixie prefers playing and exploring than knuckling down to the usual fairy tasks dictated by Tabitha Quicksilver, the Fairy Godmother. She is not helped by a somewhat crooked wand which often appears to have a mind of its own, so that Nixie has a track record of causing utter mayhem. The Blossom Ball looms however, with the added pressure of a visit by the Fairy Queen, so Tabitha enlists all the fairies' help. Appearances can be deceptive, however, and the beautifully fairy-like Adorabella is not quite what she seems and is determined to thwart Nixie at every turn. Will the Fairy Queen be given a Ball to remember?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable tale in the long children's book tradition of a naughty heroine with a winning personality and bags of 'grit' who might appeal to both boys and girls. We are given a sense of fairy scale immediately in the book with the description of Nixie 'tugging on a petal'. The wonderfully engaging grey-scale illustrations help to reinforce this and the larger font for exclamations and heightened moments all help to encourage children to read with expression. Y2/3 independent readers will love the come-uppance experienced by some characters along with the humorous dialogue throughout, which could lead to plenty of opportunities for paired improvisations before writing their own dialogue.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

The Poison Plot, Frances Watts, illustrated by Gregory Rogers

Allen & Unwin ISBN 9781742377926 £3.99

This is the second in a now four book series by this successful Australian based partnership. Set in medieval times, the quick- thinking main character is Thomasina, known as Tommy. A former kitchen maid who yearned to become a squire and then a knight, she has now been elevated to Keeper of the Blades at Flamant Castle, owned by Sir Walter the Bald and protected by the bravest knight, Sir Benedict. While out on an errand one day, she hears of a plot to poison Sir Walter which would also bring war to the castle. Fortunately, as in the finest medieval tale tradition, there is a wonderful blurring between fantasy and reality and so Tommy is able to harness help from some unusual sources. Just how helping to cure a crocodiddle's 'sneezles' is instrumental in foiling the plot is for the reader to find out! This is an excellent series for independent readers from Y3 and both girls and boys will enjoy not only the plot and the characters, but also the lively grey-scale illustrations.
Brenda Marshall, Head of English, Port Regis, Motcombe Park, Shaftesbury
Online review 2015

Real Stories from Street Children Across the World, Anthony Robinson, illustrated by June Allan

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN 9781847805980 £7.99

This is a most attractive and engaging book. Six true-life stories are presented in a clear text supported by watercolour illustrations and the author’s own full colour photographs in a refreshingly unsentimental way. To an adult reader the stories are heart-breaking and the sheer numbers of children living on the streets horrifying, but each one of the featured stories has a happyish, or at any rate hopeful, ending and it is important to discuss the realities of these children’s lives with our students. We cannot be silent about this issue and the book provides a useful un-sensationalist starting point for younger students. I am looking forward to introducing this lovely book into my Year 7 classroom for weaker readers and can see it working very well for PSHE, Geography and related subjects throughout key stage 2.
Debra Holmes, English teacher, Sexey’s School, Bruton, Somerset
Online review 2015

Record-Breaking Animals, Jon Richards, designed by Ed Simkins

Wayland ISBN 9780750287531 £12.99

This book offers an easy way of enjoying the facts that children love to pore over in the Guinness World Records books, without the accompanying teacher-concern of them finding and focussing on the bizarre and sometimes age-inappropriate material also to be found therein. Personally, I found the format of this book, although very attractive and colourful, rather confusing. There are so many colours, sections, fonts (some very small), diagrams and graphics (no photographs) on each page that I didn’t quite know where to begin. It took me a while to work out the relevance of a half-page cat-size graphic. Yes, it related to a chart at the top of the page, but the space between was intersected by a fact about the longest dog ears ever (Tigger the bloodhound) and cat litter size (the largest domestic cat litter is 19 and the average 4-6). This is definitely a ‘dipping into and enjoying during free-reading time’ book for the child who avoids reading fiction. It could also be used for embedding the skill of ‘scanning for information’. I found some unexpected facts that engaged me but, despite the index and glossary, I don’t believe it would help much with any straightforward classroom research.
Debra Holmes, English teacher, Sexey’s School, Bruton, Somerset
Online review 2015

Remarkable Animal, Tony Meeuwissen

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN 9781847806321 £12.99

Have you ever wondered what a Trabootor looks like? Or a Plunkfin? In Tony Meeuwissen’s beautiful hardback book you can discover them and many, many more crazy creatures. Based on the simple concept of ten different (real) animals, each split into three parts, children can mix and match the heads, bodies and tails with hilarious results. The process is rather addictive, even as an adult, and with 1000 possible combinations it will entertain children for a long time. A fantastic basis for developing descriptive writing with younger children (KS1 and lower KS2), the startling visuals give great scope for imagination, whilst the book’s lean towards silliness will embolden children to write freely about their animal. Meeuwissen has added a lovely final note for the more mature naturalist, with some serious information about each of the ten original creatures (e.g. the platypus, alligator, baboon). A word of warning however: there will be at least one child in every class who, unless watched closely, will spend any ‘reading’ opportunity creating comical creatures without reading a word!
Rachel Corden
Online review 2015

Secret Agent Mummy The Cleopatra Case, Steve Cole

Random House ISBN 9781849418706 £5.99

Ancient Egypt meets science fiction plus comic book antics in the latest from the prolific author, Steve Cole. Niall Rivers (how apposite a name!) has been involved with Sam (Secret Agent Mummy) before, but even he is surprised to see his friend stealing a statuette from the newly discovered tomb of Cleopatra live on TV! So begins another time-travelling, action-packed adventure for the friends as they try to solve the mystery of the biting statuette, fighting off frightening lizard-men from another planet and trying to outwit an undead female Pharaoh intent on ruling the Earth.

Cole manages a frenetic pace through his books along with a disarming humour which helps to encourage speedy reading as well as the suspension of disbelief! Fluent readers from Y3 onwards will love the robotic dog, Mumbum, the know-it-all cat, Mew, as well as Niall's annoying little sister known as the Snitch. Appealing cartoon-style illustrations pepper the book and there is an Egyptian border to each page which ties in well with Mew's facts about Cleopatra, the temple of Amun-Re and the formation of oases at the end of the book. If young readers enjoy this, there are plenty of other series by the same author they can enjoy too, while parents and teachers can be assured that the writing is good.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

Sparky's Bad Spell, Ruby Nash

Random House ISBN 9781782952992 £5.99

There is a rich tradition in UK children's literature for the fantasy genre of witches and wizards: from Winnie the Witch, through The Worst Witch to The Sword in the Stone and Harry Potter. This second book in the Mrs Mothwick's Magic Academy series slots into this tradition just perfectly for lower KS2 independent readers. Carl, the young son of the principal, has been desperately trying to teach magic to his 'familiar', the irrepressible rescue puppy, Sparky. Unfortunately, the pair are not finding it easy and mayhem seems to follow wherever they go. Added pressure is put upon them with the impending inspection by the Grand Council Of Wizardry and Witchiness who will not hesitate to close down the academy if they are found to be training an un-magic familiar. How fortunate it is then, that Carl meets such a pleasant helpful witch in the Deep Dark Wood, who is so keen to offer him her crystal ball for the inspection trial. Or is it?

This is a very appealing book, with a pacy plot, a lovable and intelligent dog every child would love to own and wonderfully comic cartoon-like illustrations. It would make an enjoyable story to share for the end of the day or to have available for all young magic lovers.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

Tales From Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, retold by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Yaniv Shimony

QED Publishing ISBN 9781784930028 £8.99

It is not easy to retell Shakespeare without over-indulging in adjectives and adverbs, and selecting the speeches to report directly is always problematic. The whole tends to result in somewhat unwieldy English – and in places this is the case with this retelling.

‘Viola stood on the beach and looked out at the calm sea. She could hardly believe that just hours ago her ship had been smashed to pieces by a storm. Its broken remains now lay scattered across the sands around her. “Was there any sign of my brother Sebastian?” she asked the captain anxiously.’

I liked the idea of selected quotations from the play juxtaposed in scroll-like frames – a useful way of tuning the young reader into the original language - but the illustrations and choice of font will not be to everyone’s taste. The whole has the potential to alienate the young reader from Shakespeare – which would be regrettable.
Elizabeth Broad, Head of Primary ITT, University of Roehampton
Online review 2015

There's a Monster in the Garden. Poems by David Harmer

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books ISBN 9781847805386 £6.99

Harmer is a performance poet, often working with Paul Cookson in their poetry duo Spill the Beans. It therefore comes as no surprise that this is yet another carefully crafted collection from him with strong rhythms and choruses crying out to be performed or read aloud. His poems often bear closer scrutiny, however, because his inventiveness with rhyme leads to internal, end, as well as stretched rhymes all cleverlyused for comic effect. This book covers a huge range of subjects from the amusing juxtaposition of When Mum Takes me Football Training and When Dad Takes me Football Training, through Sir John is in His Keep Tonight to All of Us Knocking on the Stable Door. Readers will meet Barry's Budgie, an extraordinary grandad and will be warned: 'I don't want to scare you
                                    But just behind you
                                    Is a ...'

The range of voices is vast and the metaphors and similes are well worth exploring. Beyond the humour of Santa meeting a traffic warden, there is the beauty of On a Blue Day and Diwali and every girl will cheer at the fate of Sir Guy! This is a collection which bears re-reading.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

War and Peace (Usborne Young Reading Series 3), adapted from Leo Tolstoy by Mary Sebag-, illustrated by Simona Bursi

Usborne Publishing ISBN 9781409547105 £4.99

It’s quite a task to summarise Tolstoy’s epic masterpiece and present it for young readers. Here in 50 heavily illustrated pages, children are given a flavour of the original story, discovering the key characters and the global events alongside which the saga unfolds. Usborne market their Series 3, of which this is one title, ‘for readers who are ready for longer stories’. It will certainly take a confident independent reader to cope with the text, with such language as ‘He found legal documents revoking Pierre’s illegitimacy’ and ‘All is vanity and lies, save that infinite sky’. But the main elements of the original are there, the action and events distilled to perhaps tempt some to seek it out later for themselves.
Pam Dowson, retired primary teacher and PGCE tutor
Online review 2015

The Water Horse, Holly Webb

Orchard Books ISBN 9781408327623 £5.99

From the author of the successful Lily and also Rose series of books, comes the first in a new line. Set in Venice, it depicts the surprisingly troubled life of the Princess Olivia, who, far from basking in wealth and privilege, is actually a victim of spells and sorcery designed to keep her acquiescent while other family members plot against her and her father. Flooding threatens the city too, and only her father's magic can keep the waters back, yet each spell proves costly to his health. Olivia's own magic is needed, but she feels alone and unguided until, that is, she meets a water horse. This magical creature is centuries old and possesses his own water magic. Night-time excursions and meeting ragged urchins enable Olivia's understanding of her city's needs to develop, but even then she is unprepared for her aunt's treachery... How will her new found friendship be able to help?

Olivia is a plucky and resourceful character demonstrating intelligence and a growing empathy for those around her. Along with a strong protagonist, there is sufficient detail about Venice for it to be convincing, the use of magic is handled deftly and (risking gender neutrality!) the invention of the powerful yet gentle water horses will prove a winner for many girl readers of eight and beyond. This is a book about friendship, loyalty and good versus greed and evil. With further books in the series to come, I can see this becoming a favourite amongst the independent readers of Y4/5.
Sue Barrett, former primary deputy head and senior lecturer in Primary Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
Online review 2015

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