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Book Review: The Water Horse

This is a monthly feature we will start incorporating into our editorial calendar to bring you books we think are great for different ages and appropriate for Blended Families. We hope you will enjoy them!

Today we begin a monthly series of books to read with the kids. Kids love bedtime stories and this is a great opportunity to bond with them. We will take off with a popular story that I am sure will be every child´s delight.

The Water Horse is a book that tells the story of two siblings who find an egg washed up on the beach after a great storm. They decide to take it home and this is when the greatest adventure begins! The story is inspired by the Loch Ness monster, so if your kids loves that kind of stories, they will definitively love this one!

Details of the Book

Author: Dick King-Smith

Illustrated by: Melissa Manwill

Age Level: 6-9

Grade Level: 1-4

Year published: 1990

Length: 96 pages

The Plot

Kirstie and her brother, Angus, live on a Scottish beach. One day, after a big storm, they find a mysterious egg lying on the beach. They decide to bring the egg back home. The family takes it in and stores it away.

The day after that the egg hatches and this cute green tiny monster with the head of a horse comes out. The little monster is scaly like a reptile, has four flippers, and tail like a crocodile. This creature becomes the family pet. But the one thing they were not counting on is that Crusoe, as they called it, was growing pretty fast.

But not just that; it would not stop growing! Soon enough, Crusoe could no longer be held as a pet so he was sent to the Loch Ness.

A Review

The characters in the story are believable and your children will soon relate to them. These are Scottish children set in the 1930s who spend their lives at the beach. They become splashed with adventure as they now have to take care of Crusoe.

The author tells the story from the point of view of the lovable creature as well as that of the family. So, we get to really know both the family and their unusual pet. Your children will immediately fall for the not-at-all-fearsome giant creature.

This story comes from the mind of the author who gave us "Babe" and "Martin Mice". It is a great opportunity for an adult to share it with a kindergarten or young elementary student. The tale is gentle and adventurous. It might not have the thrills and drama of "Babe" but it is a nice introduction to Dick King-Smith's books.

Also, the level of English and vocabulary is pretty rich. For younger readers or listeners, you might have to stop to explain a term or two. But it is not really endowed with a high-literacy script. It is a children´s story after all.

The Movie

A major film about the story was made and released in 2008. It is always fun to read a book with the kids and then escalate to showing them the movie about it. This offers an opportunity to discuss the story and have conversations about how the movie is faithful to the story. Have kids compare what they had in their minds with what they saw in the film.

Get a copy of The Water Horse and enjoy reading time with your children. They will be thrilled with this charming story.

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