Iggy and Me by Jenny Valentine
|Iggy and Me by Jenny Valentine|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: Jenny Valentine's first book for younger readers is as excellent as her books for teens. These simple tales of family life are brimming with humour and interest, and are wonderfully readable. Highly recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: September 2009|
|Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
One day, Sam decided that she was no longer going to be called Sam. From then on, she was Iggy. Her big sister Flo takes it in her stride. Life continues in much the same vein from then on: five year old Iggy getting up to all sorts of shenanigans, and eight year old Flo rolling her eyes, joining in, being exasperated and loving her all in equal measure. It's what big and little sisters do.
Here at Bookbag, we've enjoyed all Jenny Valentine's novels for teens. Ever since she mentioned writing a book for younger children in our interview with her, we've been looking forward to Iggy and Me. We're delighted that it lives up to all expectations! It's a collection of short stories set around the family life of Iggy and Flo - everyday things like playing pirates, getting a new babysitter, or going on a long car journey. And they're great fun, wonderfully readable and ably supported by Joe Berger's excellent illustrations.
Books for newly confident readers are often tricky to get right - too detailed and they go over heads; too pared down and they lack interest. Iggy and Me strikes the perfect tone. The characters are wonderfully fleshed out, the plots simple yet engaging, and the writing style funny and charming. I particularly loved how Valentine doesn't talk down to her young audience, and how she trusts that slightly open-ended snapshots of family life will create a cohesive whole.
Although aimed at children reading for themselves, the episodic nature of Iggy and Me and its sheer quality means that younger readers who are ready for slightly deeper stories will also enjoy having a chapter a night read to them. It's also the sort of book that slightly older readers will spot on the bookshelves and plough through when they want some light, comforting reading. It's readers of Iggy and Flo's age that will get the most from the book, and I'm sure it will soon become a firm favourite. Highly recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
Spellbound by Anna Dale has an interesting sibling dynamic, with a healthy smattering of magic thrown in for good measure. For a delightful look at family life - but from many years ago - check out the much-loved Little House In The Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are also a sequel and third book in the series which are just as great.
You can read more book reviews or buy Iggy and Me by Jenny Valentine at Amazon.com.
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