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In Christmas 2010 I bought my son a set of Winnie the witch books from The Book People. The set cost £9.99 and in it you got ten books making it exceptional value bases on the recommended retail price of around five or six pounds per book. One of the books in the set was Winnie's flying carpet and this is my review of it. Winnie's flying carpet is written by Valerie Thomas and illustrated by Korky Paul. It was first published in 2008 by Oxford University Press and so it is a relatively new book. In the Winnie the witch books there is always a picture inside the front and back covers which have been drawn by school aged children who are then credited in the front of the book which I think is a nice touch and something which would perhaps encourage children to draw and be creative. Winnie's flying carpet tells the story of how one day Winnie is writing thank you letters for her birthday gifts. Her sisters had bought her a magic flying carpet and Winnie had had nothing but problems with it from day one and so she had locked it in a cupboard. Winnie wants to write something nice in her thank you letter and so she gets the carpet back out but whilst she answers the door the carpet takes off taking poor Wilbur the cat with it! Winnie must use some quick thinking, and of course magic, to rescue poor Wilbur. This is a story that my son really enjoys to have read to him but it is also one that he can read himself now he is six and an able reader. There is a reasonable amount of text in the book but it is written in quite simple sentences and so it isn't too overwhelming for a child to tackle in my opinion. What my son enjoys most about this particular story is the humour used as the flying carpet takes off with Wilbur and ends up at a theme park riding roller coasters! He will actually laugh out loud at this section of the book which is lovely to hear. I find that the Winnie the witch stories in general, including this book, really seem to keep my sons attention well as they are often full of action and funny too. The illustrations in this book are excellent. They literally fill most of the pages and just have the text of the story set in to them. The amount of detail used is fantastic and if you look closely at them there is usually something hidden to spot such as spiders or eyeballs peering out from dark spaces! My son loves to look at the pictures with me and I think it really adds to the experience of sharing a book. What I personally love in this book is the expressions Korky Paul manages to illustrate on Wilbur the cats face. He does this in such an amusing way that it really enhances the story I feel. I am sure you can tell that I think this book is great and I would most definitely recommend picking up The Book People set should you be interested as it makes an excellent gift and is great value too. Thank you for reading my review!
I'm sure many of us have been faced with the dilemma of trying to work out what exactly to say about that less than satisfactory,nay - truth be told - awful birthday present in the obligatory "Thank you" letter. That is the issue faced by Winnie the Witch", Valerie Thomas' loveable quirky character in this, one of the most recent books in the Winnie series (published in paperback 2009). In this book Winnie has received a much longed for Flying Carpet for her birthday from her sisters, Wilma, Wanda and Wendy. As Winnie starts to put pen to paper, or more accurately finger to keyboard - she is a modern witch after all, to write her thank you, we see the disasters and comic events that Winnie and her cat Wilbur have faced. These are brilliantly told through Korky Paul's ever excellent illustrations and the author's eloquent and accessible way of telling a good yarn. Fans of the series will know that for Winnie things tend to go wrong, and enjoy the humour as Winnie, on her flying carpet, variously gets tangled in washing, falls into ponds and eventually consigns her gift to a cupboard. Those new to Winnie books can enjoy the story too - this being a Winnie book the story is full of action and events and punctuated by the odd "Abracadabra!!" as Winnie gives the carpet one last chance, only to find that the carpet makes off with her cat and causes more trouble before she finally works out what exactly to do with her oh-so tricky gift. As in other books of the series this book is a pleasure to read or, I am reliably informed, to be read to. The text is non-rhyming, and the language quite often simple but always engaging. The pictures that accompany the prose are full of all kinds of wonderful detail - we particularly like the scene where Winnie's cat encounters a roller coaster whilst on the carpet as it is just so funny. In every picture the characters almost seem to move on the page so well are they drawn, and there is plenty of detail and interest for bed time discussion with your child. I like the fact that every single word seems to be chosen to add to the pace of the story, words like "whizzed", "zoomed" are used to great effect and the carpet is almost a character in itself as it causes chaos in this lovely magical tale. I think that the Winnie series is fantastic for young readers, age 4-8. We really enjoy this story, my six year old is pretty happy both to read along with me or be read to when we get this book out. If you already have a Winnie collection this is definitely one to add to it, and if you have yet to to discover this Witch's world then I thoroughly recommend buying this 32 page book (rrp £5.99). "Winnie's Flying Carpet" is funny, silly and most of all a great story which is a satisfying read. Winnie may not solve the problem of how to write tricky thank you letters, but she knows how to sort out an errant flying carpet - I wonder if she would know what to do with that dying Bonsai tree I got for Christmas.....?