'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Review: Jessie and Mr Smith

This Aussie Bite for early readers teachers a number of valuable lessons whilst encouraging independent reading.

When Jessie finds a tortoise in her sandpit, she doesn’t know who it belongs to. There’s just one clue: some writing on the tortoise’s shell. ‘Mr Smith,’ it says, with a number underneath, ‘91201’.

What could it all mean? Whose tortoise is it and how will she find the owners?

Jessie and her neighbour, Chris, set about trying to solve the puzzle and return the creature to his owner. But when all their leads are dead ends and they have to make another decision, it might not all be for the best.

As with all Aussie Bites, this is a straightforward story that allows children to focus on their reading – and to love the independence that comes with it.

This one teaches children about doing the right thing – which isn’t always clear and easy to decide. Environmental issues are also covered, with the book talking about the right way to treat animals, and the value of freedom to wild creatures.

The black and white illustrations are just enough to add character and break up the text, without overtaking the story.

Boys and girls will all enjoy this story.

Title: Jessie and Mr Smith
Author: Jane Godwin
Illustrator: Ann James
Publisher: Puffin, $11.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2003
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 9780141309255
For ages: 8+
Type: Novel