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Sharon King-Chai
Two Hoots
ISBN: 9781509899579

Full of love for his daughter, the Moon King captures the beautiful, enchanted Starbird, the only gift he deems worthy of her. The bird sings to the princess each evening at dusk until, one day, she notices a sadness in Starbird's song, leading her to free him. Furious she has released his precious gift, the Moon King flies into a rage and pledges to re-capture Starbird. Although the bird is helped along the way by other creatures, he is no match for the Moon King and is returned to his cage. Will the Starbird ever gain his freedom again?

This is a stunning book. Silver foil enhances the illustrations which are beautiful - delicate and detailed. Each spread is a work of art, perfect for sharing again and again. Illustrations like these could easily be used to inspire classes to produce masterpieces of their own.

The text is lyrical and atmospheric, carrying strong messages about the importance of freedom and love. The King's love for his daughter causes him to sacrifice the freedom and happiness of a beautiful creature, born to be free and soar through the skies, allowing everyone to share the joy such a creature brings and for the bird to thrive. The princess's love for the bird is such that she would rather it be free and happy than captured for her entertainment- a lesson her father still has to learn.

This story could easily become the heart of work in English, encouraging writing in different genres, including poetry, persuasion, letter and diary writing. Children could create imaginary creatures of their own, describing them and exploring their characteristics.

A poignant tale with stunning illustrations, 'Starbird' is an absolute joy, sure to become a firm favourite.

40 pages / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher


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