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Growing up

Published on August 7th, 2017 | 251 Views

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Holiday reading with The New Adventures of Mr Toad

The New Adventures of Mr Toad Toad Hall in LockdownSummer reading used to be about picking out paperbacks in a WH Smith before boarding a plane, and usually choosing a Sophie Kinsella bestseller or another beach read that could make me smile.

These days it’s different. I left my latest Sophie Kinsella book at home and packed books for the children instead.

Even in the middle of the day I’ve now found time to read out loud for Big Girl, and there’s one chapter book that I wanted to start a second time, so Daddy T could hear it when he joined us on holiday too.

The New Adventures of Mr Toad: Toad Hall in Lockdown (Oxford University Press, £5.99), which we received to review, was released last week and it is a chapter book by Tom Moorhouse with pictures by Holly Swain, making it ideal for children who are making the transition from picture books to chapter books.

The book is the second book in a new series that takes its inspiration from the classic The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, but brings the action right up to date. In this new book, which is recommended for children aged over 5, readers follow children Teejay, Mo, and Ratty on an adventure.

Their friend Mr Toad is renovating his house, but the group realises the squirrels Mr Toad has hired to renovate Toad Hall look suspicious and follow them to discover their identity and hatch a plan to keep Mr Toad safe.

After we started reading the book, I heard Big Girl describing the gadgets in Toad Hall to Grandma N over breakfast. She was giggling as she talked about a machine that could fry eggs and a lift that looked like a car and had a seat, and the book had clearly made an impression on her.

I felt the foreword was a bit confusing to read out loud, but as soon as we started on the chapters we were hooked. The plot kept us wanting to read on and the illustrations were brilliant for helping Big Girl picture the hilarious gadgets and house. I liked that the book also features some facts about the original The Wind in the Willows at the end and a picture of the house that might have been Kenneth Grahame’s inspiration for Toad Hall.

A fast-paced and funny holiday read for children!

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