Twit by Steve Cole

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Twit by Steve Cole

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: An owl who is teased for not being too bright, shows his brothers, and the other animals, he's smarter than they think.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 80 Date: October 2013
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1444009699

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If I asked you to name a clever animal, you’d quite likely choose an owl. After all, they are known to be the wisest of birds, aren’t they? There’s one exception to that rule, though. Meet Twit. He’s rather cute with his big round eyes, and he’s polite and kind… but he’s not very wise.

Twit lives with his three brothers who tease him mercilessly about how naive he is. He trusts them when they tell him things, for they are clearly older and apparently wiser than he is, but as they play one joke after another on him, he grows fed up of the way they laugh at his expense. When their latest joke leads to a bit of a mishap, Twit ends up making friends with a vole called Norma who comes to his rescue. With her help he sets out to get his own back on his mean brothers and show that’s he’s not such a ‘twit’ after all.

This is an Early Reader book, designed to bridge the gap between picture books and proper chapter books. It has elements of both: lots of bright, colourful illustrations and short, easy to read sentences, but chapters too, and a proper, longer story than some they might have had before. It’s good for reading together or reading alone, and it feels like more of a grown up book, both in format and length, than a picture book would. It has a nice momentum, too. First we have misadventure after misadventure as the brothers keep teasing Twit, and then we have the excitement of knowing he’s planning something that will change how they see him, before we find out exactly what that is.

This is a sweet book that neatly follows the no doubt familiar idea from fairy tales that you have goodies and baddies in a story. You know at once that you’re rooting for Twit and that his big brothers and silly and horrid for making fun of him. And of course you get a happy ending too.

There’s only one thing I found a bit off about this book, and that’s to do with the plan hatched by Twit and Norma. I didn’t quite understand what it was or how it would work, and I suspect that if I struggled, the target age group would too. I understand why Twit wanted to show he was smart too, but what he did seemed a bit obscure and not that believable (either that he and Norma would concoct such a plan, or that it would work).

This didn’t ruin the book for me, but I was disappointed in how it ended up. As an easy to read book, though, I think it was well executed, with perfectly pitched language and good presentation that will encourage reading.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

In addition for writing for Dr Who, Steve Cole has quite a few kids books out, including Cows in Action: The Viking Emoo-gency and Magic Ink. You can also find out more about the author in The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Steve Cole

Buy Twit by Steve Cole at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Twit by Steve Cole at

Buy Twit by Steve Cole at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Twit by Steve Cole at


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