In the general madness that is teaching at the moment, it is such a pleasure to meet with our book group, JAB (Just About Books). The members are a lovely, warm and friendly bunch and the conversation is always lively and interesting. Anyone is welcome to come and join the discussion, drink hot chocolate and eat cake. So, if you're in need of cheering up, please come along and join us!
At this afternoon's meeting ,we were discussing 'Meet at the Ark at Eight' and 'Island'.
The chat around this one was very lively and there was much laughter as we quoted things the penguins had said and done. One member said her thirteen year old had cried laughing while reading it and another had to read sections to her husband to explain what she was laughing out loud about!
It was agreed by the majority that this is a great fun book which is very funny; however, it did provoke much discussion about whether we would feel comfortable using it as a read aloud in school due to the somewhat irreverent view it takes about God! Knowing the problems it could cause and not wishing to offend anyone, we decided that it wouldn't be something we would use in school, but we would certainly come back to it 'for a chuckle!'
Meet at the ark at Eight! by Ulrich Hub, illustrated by Jorg Muhle
Pushkin Children's ISBN: 978-1782690870
'Poetical', 'beautiful', 'lyrical', 'outstanding'...these were a few of the words used by members of the group when discussing 'Island'.
This book was greatly appreciated for being something different. Members of the group loved how 'quiet' the story was and how the author allowed the reader space and time to reflect on what was happening. The special atmosphere of the book was much enjoyed.
Although one of the group didn't like the sectioned feeling of the book, feeling that this had not translated comfortably from the play version of the story, other members loved this aspect. The use of language, including the Inuit words, is wonderful and there was a real desire from the group for the book to be produced as an audio-book, read by someone with a 'rich, sonorous voice' so we could hear all the Inuit words pronounced properly and enjoy listening to the story.
The illustrations were also discussed and valued as part of what makes the book so successful.
There was much discussion around this book and it was greatly praised and admired. As one JAB member said, 'This is my most favourite book!' Praise indeed!
Island by Nicky Singer, illustrated by Chris Ridell
Caboodle Books ISBN: 978-0992938963