Let Sleeping Sea-Monsters Lie and Other Cautionary Tales by Eva Ibbotson is a collection of short, quirky stories, which are presented as fables or fairy-tales. Each have a moral message, with warnings about being rude, arrogant and disobedient. There are a series of unusual, but mostly harmless punishments for the perpetrators. For example, an arrogant dog goes against the warnings of others about respecting the frid's property, her punishment is that she is swallowed by a rock-like creature and spat out with no hair, humbling her.
Eva Ibbotson takes some extraordinary creatures, in unique situations and turns them into believable scenarios, you’ll never look at a rock the same way again. Using this skill lets the reader delve deeper into the world, giving them an exciting and enjoyable reading experience.
The 4 stories are short enough that one could be read in one session, making it great for reading aloud. It does have some illustrations, which are humorous and aid in imagining some the new, and bizarre, scenarios. There are also so many interesting conversations within the book, which makes reading aloud an opportunity to act out the parts, and create some hilarious characters of your own.
The humour throughout is silly enough to encourage younger children, but with just enough grown-up themes to allow older children to really engage with it as well. I would definitely recommend it. I'm even planning on passing my copy on to my cousin, if I can ever bring myself to let go of it.
- Reading Age: 7-9
- Reading Aloud Age:8-10
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