Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pool by Steve Voake
|Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pool by Steve Voake|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Magda Healey|
|Summary: A sweet if very mild adventure for just-confident readers with talking animals, nice illustrations and gentle humour, probably better borrowed than bought but still a recommended read, particularly for younger but already reading children.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: May 2008|
|Publisher: Walker Books Ltd|
|External links: Author's website|
Daisy Dawson can talk to animals - and as she lives in the countryside, she has plenty of opportunity to do so, from the family dog to a horse in the pasture on the way to school to squirrels in the forest to gerbils in the classroom. When she gets a new camera and gets involved in a project involving photographing animals in their natural habitats, her animal friends tell her about a secret pool deep in the forest where some shy otters have recently appeared.
Daisy sets off on a sunny day but there are some clouds in the sky. Will Daisy find the secret pool and manage to get her photo before the storm?
Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pool is a sweet, gentle adventure for just-confident readers.
Daisy is a confident, determined little girl, not really a classic tomboy but not a shrinking-violet girly girl either (after all she wants to be a photographer) and the scenes are infused with warm humour: Daisy's family, her school (with a strict but not horrible teacher, other children and of course the gerbils!), but particularly the countryside and woodland settings, with all her animal friends.
The vocabulary is graded and approachable without getting so simple as to become bland, and the type is large and comfortable, natural breaks in the text are many and the drawings help to engage and make the 96 pages pass quickly.
Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pool (as well as the first Daisy Dawson book) is a welcome addition to the selection of books available for developing readers. It will be particularly suitable for younger children that are starting to read early, probably more girls than boys (but it's not girly in a sparkly kittens and pink fairies way) and especially all children interested in animals and nature.
Older children (including struggling readers in older classes of primary school) will likely find Daisy and her gentle adventures too anodyne to excite their interest, and for the same reason it is, like most books in this category, better borrowed than bought.
If your child is particularly fond of animal adventures like that, Daisy Dawson and the Secret Pool is also suitable for reading aloud to pre-literate children from about the age of four.
The review copy was end to the Book bag by the publisher - thank you!
If you like this, you might also like Flotsam and Jetsam and The Grooof by Tanya Landman. Another early reader which we've enjoyed is Jamie and Angus Together by Anne Fine.
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