Sunday, 6 November 2011

Mr Gum and the Goblins, George and the Dragon and The Afterdark Princess

This evening we read three books.

First, A (7) read to us from her new schoolbook The Afterdark Princess by Annie Dalton. Early days yet, but I did find the "Kit and her Dad said..." profoundly irritating. In the author's world people regularly say exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. I didn't buy it, and neither did she.

C (5) left his book bag in his drawer at school, and so he chose George and the Dragon by Christopher Wormell, to read to us this evening. We picked this up for 50p in a charity shop years ago and it has been a family favourite ever since. I absolutely love the beautifully observed pictures in it, and the children really enjoy studying them to pick out new details. The premise of the story is that George is a mouse who moves in next to a dragon who has been terrorising a nearby castle for many years. The dragon's big secret is that he is terrified of mice. When the mouse visits the dragon's cave to ask for a lump of sugar, the dragon is so terrified that he never bothers the inhabitants of the castle again. After treating George to a sumptuous feast, the royal family allow him to live in the hole in the castle wall forever. The dragon is seen clinging to a mountain top in the final picture. Both children still enjoy this book greatly, but it is also short and interesting enough to hold the attention of a much younger child.

Finally, we are onto the third installment of the absolutely outstanding Mr Gum series by Andy Stanton, entitled Mr Gum and the Goblins. I can't praise these books highly enough. I sometimes have to stop reading whilst I get my breath back from laughing. The first chapter of the third book ended on a cliffhanger which left both kids whinging that they wanted "just one more chapter Mummy, it really isn't that late!" Oh yes it is.

Today I embarked on Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Obviously starting an extremely long, extremely absorbing book when I have a 5,000 word essay to hand in on Thursday, which is currently less than a third completed, is a very sensible thing to do.

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