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Under the Same Sky

Some of the concepts in this book may be difficult for the pre-school child: we live under the same sky, we feel the same love, and we dream the same dreams.  Others are much more concrete:  we play the same games, we sing the same songs, and we face the same storms.  The illustrations, of course, help and as usual in books for this readership, the pictures tell more of the story.     
The pictures are a little abstract yet we can easily recognise cats, lions, penguins and many other creatures looking up at the same sky.  The pictures have a charm that will appeal to the caring adult who reads the book to the child. They are concrete enough to hold the child’s attention.  
There are cut-outs on every other page which frame previous pictures and sometimes the words in another way.  
There are in fact very few words. There is every possibility that the child will “read” the text over and over and eventually know it by heart. The “message” may become clearer as the child grows –up.
In many ways this book is conventional: wide portrait, twelve double spreads, serif font, difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s.  
This was short-listed for the 2018 Kate Greenway medal.      


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Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

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 …