Here we are with Book Number 3 in our PaperTigers Reading the World Challenge 2009 – and there are still a few weeks to go for you to join in, if you haven’t got going yet…
Together we read Scott O’ Dell‘s Island of the Blue Dolphins (first published in 1960 and a Newbery Medal winner). It was my well-thumbed copy from when I was a child and I was perhaps being a bit self-indulgent in sticking it under the boys’ noses – but my concerns that the protagonist is a girl were unfounded. They loved it. It is, after all, an incredible story of survival, steeped in tragedy, love and hope – and mind-boggling for them (and indeed, everyone) to take on board that the essentials of the story are true. It’s also beautifully written and is a joy to read aloud.
Older Brother (10 1/2) enjoyed Harry the Hairy-Nosed Wombat & Other Australian Animal Tales, by Jill Morris, illustrated by Tina Wilson (Greater Glider, 2003): you can read an on-line review here and here’s what Older Brother had to say:
The stories were very active and full of adventure. It was fun reading about Australian animals because they live in very different habitats from us and I like them. The story about Harry was my favourite and I really liked “Bobuck the Mountain Possum”. I thought it was really interesting that koalas are sometimes called kolas by Australian Aborigines, which means “no drink”.
Little Brother (8) revelled in Antarctic Antics: A Book of Penguin Poems by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey (Voyager Books, Harcourt, 2008) – I should perhaps say that for someone who loves both Natural History and playing with words, this was a wonderful book – here are his own words:
The poems are about a penguin family – and about the fun and the predators and what a penguin’s great thrill would be – two months at sea because the fish swim straight into their mouths:
“Several shrimp swimming south
Are approaching my mouth -
So I’ll just open wide
And invite them inside.
Yes, two months’ vacation
Is a penguinish wish.
I’ve got nothing to do
But slurp squadrons of fish.”
I liked the words in the poems and Mummy liked the Antarctic Anthem poem – me too but “Belly Sliding” is my favourite.