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Though my family are mostly grown up now I have kept some of their most treasured books for any future grandchildren I may be blessed with, and as lovely reminders of their very happy childhood bucket and spade days. If I see any books on my travels, or in book shops, I will always buy them, as it seems to me a lovely shelf full of interesting and special books is a delight to any child. I know I have one from my childhood over 40 tears ago-"Enid Blyton-The Tiresome Poker" and this is the sort of treasure which I mean, it conjures up a childhood memory like nothing else.
So it was with delight that walking round my local boot sale last Sunday I came across a newish book which was lying on the floor next to a pile of sad looking "take me home" teddies, all with lovely faces and all appealing and lonely. Alas it wasn't Teddy day for me, but the book called because on the front a wicked looking eel was swimming in the depths. Intrigued I had to buy and here is a review of a wonderful book which though only cost me 20p is available on Amazon for £5.49. This edition I have was published in 2008, so although it's an old relic originally printed in the early 90s, it's an up to date book with a lot going for it.
The story by Karen Wallace tells the tale of the life cycle of an eel from its origins in The Sargasso Sea, through the long journey to its home in a muddy river bed. It is beautifully illustrated by Mike Boscock, but more than anything it is the brilliant descriptions in the text which capture my imagination. We are told that the eels are at risk from seagulls that have beaks which "snap like scissors through wiggling water". We are treated to some fantastic descriptive text such as the eyes of the eels which are described as "eyes like blackcurrants which bulge into headlamps." The eels are born in the dark "salt soupy sea."
I think of my children the boys would have preferred this book as eels are snake like and this book picks on this, and I can see my two loving this slightly wicked book. I think the degree of difficulty of this text makes it suitable for children in the upper infant to lower to middle junior age; the latter would enjoy the educational nature of the life cycle of the eel, which is very much shrouded in mystery.
I think it is testament to the excellent quality of this book that a review on Amazon by a fish biologist praises the text and states he thinks it offers great educational value.
I worked in a school for a time and I think this book touches on so many areas, you can use it to highlight similes as these are copious in the book, and the geography of the places, and the biology of the life cycle, marry together to make not only an exciting read but an all round educational package too.
Winning many awards I can see why this book is certainly one I am glad I picked up as it offers so much to enquiring minds and I rather enjoyed reading it too!