Polly and the Puffin by Jenny Colgan
|Polly and the Puffin by Jenny Colgan|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A delightful book for the emerging reader which won't be shunned by those who've lost their L Plates. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 96||Date: February 2016|
|Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers|
|External links: Author's website|
Polly was in bed when there was LOUD bang from downstairs. It wasn't the storm which was raging outside. It wasn't a monster or an alien from outer space. It was a puffin who had crashed through the front door and he had a broken wing. Polly's mummy got the first aid kit out whilst Polly went to get the puffin some food and the next day they went to see the vet. By then Polly had decided that the puffin would be called Neil and the vet asked her if she would be able to look after Neil until his wing was better, on the strict understanding that he would then have to return to the wild.
Polly wasn't too certain about that bit - she wanted Neil to stay forever - but she and Neil had great fun whilst he was recuperating and gradually he started to learn to fly again. Polly was facing her toughest test - but Neil would come through in a way which she might not have expected.
It's a lovely story, which might be familiar to readers of author Jenny Colgan's adult books, but retold here for the benefit of emerging readers and younger tweens. The reader who still has L plates will love having the story read to them as well as practicing their own skills. There are plenty of illustrations (by Thomas Docherty) which break up the page and give clues to those difficult words which sneak in unannounced. The vocabulary is challenging - but not too challenging. The book isn't divided up into chapters, but there are plenty of places where natural breaks occur, allowing the new reader to breathe out and smile.
Confident readers will empathise with Polly and understand how torn she is. She wants Neil to get better, but she wants him to stay with her always. It's very subtly done but there's a gentle message that wild animals or birds are not toys and must be allowed to live their natural life. I was pleased to see too that Polly's mummy stresses that you mustn't touch bird's eggs - which can be very tempting. The book will appeal to girls more than boys, if only because the cast is overwhelmingly female.
There are some extras in the book. In fact about a third of the pages are given over to recipes (with suitable instructions about getting an adult to help where appropriate), jokes of the sort which you groan at whilst secretly hiding your smile, puffin facts, and some crafty activities. We've also seen the next book in the series: Polly and the Puffin: The Stormy Day which is of the same quality and mix of reading and other activities. They're good value books which will stand rereading.
If this book appeals then we think that you might also like My Funny Family Gets Funnier by Chris Higgins and Lee Wildish.
You can read more book reviews or buy Polly and the Puffin by Jenny Colgan at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Polly and the Puffin by Jenny Colgan at Amazon.com.
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