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The Magical Kingmo of the Birds: The Silent Songbirds by Anne Booth

Illustrated by Rosie Butcher

This is one of a series of book about the Magical Kingdom of the Birds. Protagonist Maya travels there frequently.  Every time a new picture appears in her colouring book and she colours it in she is transported to the Kingdom.    

This time she is invited to a concert by songbirds.  But evil Lord Astor is stealing their voices and will only give them back if they agree to make him the sovereign instead of Princess Willow.  Maya’s role is to help Willow see that Lord Astor has not reformed.

Maya is disabled – she has problems with her legs.  This is handled very sensitively.
The text is a little puzzling – it is blocked, double-spaced and uses a complex but large font.  There are illustrations throughout and a very attractive border around each page but all in monochrome. It is 111 pages long.  Is this meant for lower junior school or is at a book that should be read aloud to infants?  

There is some useful supplementary materiel at the end of the book including information about songbirds.      


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2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …