The Little House by the Sea by Benedict Blathwayt
|The Little House by the Sea by Benedict Blathwayt|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A delightful picture book with lots to discuss on every page which would also help the child whi is just starting to read on their own.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 40||Date: August 2015|
|Publisher: BC Books|
|External links: Author's website|
By the sea, on the Isle of Mull, there was a ruined cottage, but it wasn't entirely uninhabited. The roof had fallen in and the windows were empty but that didn't stop the mice finding snug and dry homes in the walls. Rabbits enjoyed the weeds in the garden and the doorway to the cottage was used as a shelter by the sheep when it rained. Sparrows nested under the roof and a stray cat slept in the pile of leaves in the fireplace. Then one day Finn came along. He was a fisherman and he began to repair the house. He worked too - catching fish and taking tourists to see the seals and Fingal's cave. But what about the birds and animals who had lived in the cottage before Finn came along?
Well, Finn saw that none of them were left out. There was milk for the cat (and a comfy chair, we notice!). The sparrows were fed (and there's a bird box there too!) The sheep sheltered in his shed and he turned a blind eye to the mice. It's a lovely story about caring for the countryside and the species which inhabit it. Live and let live sums it up quite nicely. There's a very subtle message for the youngest of readers about sharing what you have, so that everyone - human and animal - is happy.
The story might be lovely but the pictures are quite wonderful. I've read the book several times now and each time I spot something new on every page. They're all packed with details about island life. You can study each one and spot the small details - the seaweed on the beach, the different flowers in the garden - even the snow that's still on the top of hills when it's gone elsewhere. It's gently, subtly educational with lots to discuss, but no child is going to feel as though they're being taught as you share the book with them. It would also be a good book for the emerging reader: there's a clear font, lots of clues for any words which might not immediately spring to mind and a good story to keep you wanting to turn the pages.
We've also seen Benedict Blathwayt's Tig and Tag, a story about two naughty sheep. It's a gem too and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending copies of both books to the Bookbag.
The subject is different but we think that if The Little House by the Sea appeals to you then you'll also enjoy Soon by Timothy Knapman and Patrick Benson.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Little House by the Sea by Benedict Blathwayt at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Little House by the Sea by Benedict Blathwayt at Amazon.com.
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