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Karen Inglis has done it again - a pacy short novel with engaging illustrations and short chapters which will engage young readers and get them turning the pages. Even reluctant readers will be keen to read on to find out how young Henry Haynes fares after falling into the adventure within his library book.
I especially love the way the story is framed within Henry's trip to the library where he is slightly in awe of the knowing and kindly librarian. It's a great way to encourage children to visit their local library - and librarians everywhere will want to stock this book!
So much adventure and fun is packed into this short book, which also includes nice touches of realistic detail making it easy for young readers to relate to Henry. An added bonus there are a couple of chapters of Inglis's "Eeek!" at the end, a slightly longer and slightly more challenging read, to encourage young readers to progress, and blurb for Inglis's "The Secret Lake" - another cracking adventure story in short, easily digestible chapters.
A useful book to encourage boys in particular to lose themselves in a good book - just as the hero does, quite literally! Good for 7-9 year olds, I'd say, though there's nothing in there that older boys of 10 and 11 won't enjoy, if they are reading a little under the target for their age group.
The device of falling into an adventure contained within a storybook is a good and timeless one, and I wonder whether Inglis has more adventures of this kind in mind for Henry? In the same way that the Narnia books have children everywhere checking the back of their wardrobe for snow, I'm sure there will be young readers gazing hopefully into their reading books, once they've read this one.
A useful book to encourage boys in particular to lose themselves in a good book - just as the hero does, quite literally! Good for 7-9 year olds, I'd say, though there's nothing in there that older boys of 10 and 11 won't enjoy, if they are reading a little under the target for their age group.They won't find it babyish or patronising either, which is very important.
Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review, because I have a special interest in children's books and in encouraging reluctant young readers.
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2016
I bought several copies of this book as gifts for children and what a wonderful magical adventure it is, such interesting characters, and I love the animals wonderful personalities! Henry seems to learn the same way Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz does that at the end of his magical journey it all works out well. Karen is a wonderful writer, all her various books seem to be loved by children.