Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven
|Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Tony Taylor|
|Summary: A thoroughly enjoyable and clever way to tell a story through letters between pen-pals. Maybe not that unusual. But this time the letters are exchanged from Earth to Pluto. Oh, and the year is 2317 and Pluto is in trouble.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: October 2016|
|Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing|
|External links: Author's website|
Letter to Pluto is a story told through an inter-planetary pen-pal friendship. Set in the year 2317, writing with a pen and sending letters has certainly become a dying art-form. However, Jon’s teacher, Mrs Hall, decides it is important to keep the art of letter writing alive. The only difference is that Jon’s pen-pal lives a long way away. 75 billion km to be precise. On Pluto. At first the idea of writing at all is bad enough, but when Jon finds out that his pen-pal is a girl he nearly quits the programme. Encouraged by his teacher’s bribes of merit awards for his best writing, Jon soon learns that Pluto is not as boring, small and smelly as he first thought.
This is a fascinating concept for a book and one that works completely. The letters develop to provide a warm friendship where they each learn about each other’s life and world. Jon teaches Straxi (his Plutonian pen-pal) about castles, quills and the yeti, whereas Straxi gives Jon a wonderful account of Vomblefruit, Whirlywangs and skwitches. Each letter is engaging and humorous, yet the children’s blossoming friendship is the true beauty within this story. Along with informing each other about their planets, they share personal thoughts, their worries and views on their family. Of course now that Inter-planetary holidaying is the norm, Jon’s grandma takes to the spaceship and her adventures feature in the pairs correspondence.
Underlying the story and the letters is the issue with the problem on Pluto. The President of Pluto believed he had the solution to Pluto’s problem – it was even agreed by everyone on Pluto. Unfortunately, their solution backfires to devastating effects. In what is reminiscent of the Truffala trees in Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, there is a strong message that we should all be thankful and appreciate what we have because if you take it away, it will become the one thing you wished you had.
I loved how the different characters came across in their letter writing. It is a really interesting way to tell their story. Many pictures are hand drawn, as if sketches and doodles by the children. As a primary school teacher, I can see children engaging with this writing style. They will enjoy learning about Straxi’s life on Pluto whilst perhaps finding empathy with Jon and his initial annoyance at the whole idea of having to actually write. This book is perfect for the 7-11 age range as there is something for everyone here. Full marks must go to Lou Treleaven for giving children a fun and different reading style. Maybe they will start asking for a pen-pal themselves! I have been really impressed with how eye-catching and engaging books are becoming for children and Letter to Pluto fits right amongst them.
For further reading, I would suggest The Lorax by Dr Seuss. Thank you to Maverick Arts Publishing for sending me a review copy. We also have a review of The Snowflake Mistake by Lou Treleaven and Maddie Frost.
You can read more book reviews or buy Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven at Amazon.com.
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