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The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater
Illustrated by The Fan Brothers.
Published 2017 by Simon & Schuster
‘The Antlered Ship’ was released in 2017 but I’ve only just come across it and I am so pleased that I have as it is a stunning book quickly becoming a firm favourite.
I have long thought that the best books, being a fan of fantasy novels, start with a map. The endpapers of this book certainly do not disappoint.
I love chatting about maps like this with students and the place names on this one will really capture their imagination.
‘The Antlered Ship’ has a fox, Marco, as its hero. Marco’s head is filled with questions to which he cannot find an answer. The questions are deep and concern matters of the universe that woodland animals just do not have the knowledge or inclination to answer. He wonders why trees can’t talk, why some songs make you happy and some make you sad. All of these questions and more fill up Marco’s day so when the opportunity arises for him to head off into the big wide world aboard ‘The Antlered Ship’ he jumps at the chance to explore and to try and find the answers to his ponderings, he thinks that if he finds some more foxes then they will be able to furnish him with the answers.
Unfortunately for the crew of the ship, the seas are rough the skies are filled with storms. The voyage is not the splendorous adventure that they had imagined. The crew of deer, foxes and pigeons do not make the best sailors but they learn to make the most of it and after looking at the charts together. They decide to head for ‘Sweet Tree Island.’
On the journey they meet, battle and chase off a motley crew of pirates. It is this image that I think is fantastic and would inspire some great descriptive writing from students.
Eventually, Marco and the other creatures reach their destination and we see ultimately what the book is about. The story is about friendship and how to make friends. At the end of the story, Marco thinks that he has failed because he has not found any foxes to answer his questions.
At the end, as he watches the sunset with his companions Marco discovers the secret to making friends and I think I agree with Victor. ‘You make friends by going on adventures together.’ and it is on another adventure that they decide to go.
This book will make a great class read for children aged 6 and upwards. There are lots of discussions to be had around the characters, around Marco’s questions and about making friends. There are also many writing opportunities to be exploited.
Also by Dashka Slater
Other books illustrated by The Fan Brothers
Reviews of these books will be coming soon.
Written by Mac Burnett and Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Published 2017 by Walker Books.
Mac Burnett tells a wonderful story which, due to the traditional characters who feature, has a fairy-tale feel about it that is reinforced by the traditional language used. The fable explains why the wolf howls at the moon but also teaches the reader that those of us who have a positive and flexible outlook on life will flourish – just like the duck.
Klassen’s artwork complements the story perfectly, he leaves behind the minimalism of ‘Triangle’ and ‘Square’ and adopts a more ‘painterly’ style. The wolf has a look of Klassen’s fox in ‘Pax’ by Sarah Pennypacker but he seems to be a little less refined.
There is little doubt in my mind that this book is worthy of its place on the shortlist on the Klaus Flugge Prize.
An adventure told through pencil sketches. This beautifully illustrated almost wordless book tells a rip roaring adventure of one brother and sister in search of a giant whale. Newspaper cut-outs set the story and the children set out to prove that the whale exists. The two children build their own boat but sadly all is not plain sailing.
Will the two adventurers find the giant whale? If they do then be assured that The Murrows monotone drawings will bring it to life majestically. A stunning read for ages 8+
Find this book on Amazon here.
'A child of books can venture to many lands.'
I’ve just finished ‘Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets’ courtesy of @chroniclebooks.
It is a great book which ties together elements and symbols of Islam with mathematical shapes. For example, octagon is the pool in which to wash for Wudu, circle is a daff and hexagon is a tile painted with an ayah.
his would be a great book to share with younger children who are learning about shapes in maths and/or about Islam in RE. Applause to the ingenuity of its author Hena Khan.
Check out this book on Amazon here
Ethel Leatherhead is a 12 year old girl with acne. She has tried everything to get rid of her zits but nothing has worked, until a combination of Chinese medicine and some time in a second hand sunbed make them disappear. In fact they make everything disappear.... Ethel Leatherhead becomes invisible.
Being invisible can be fun but when Ethel’s secret is discovered by, the deliciously named twins Jesmond and Jarrow Knight, then being invisible becomes infinitely more onerous.
Read the book to find out how Ethel unravels the mystery of a dog-napping epidemic and discovers some truths about her parents and why she lives with her grandmother. Recommended for ages 9-13.#strongfemalecharacter
@rossswelford has produced another corker! Find this book on Amazon here.