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Kids Bookclub February

Thursday, 1 March 2007


Today is our February bookclub. The Bookclub will be reviewing "The Wind In The Willows" and picking our book for March. It is also World Book Day and we've got 10 Wind in the Willow books to giveaway with thanks to Borders Bookstores in Blanchardstown.

It is children's book club day!
Also, young bookworms around the country are in for a treat on the 10th anniversary of world book day. To celebrate the landmark for UNESCO's book event, booksellers throughout Ireland and National Book Tokens are donating more than 3.5million special World book day tokens to pupils in primary schools around the country.

Book being reviewed today on the show:
"The Wind In The Willows" ( Penguin Popular Classics ISBN: 978-0140621228)
'The story is one about male friendship. There are a couple of vaguely derogatory mentions of women "you were ordered around by female nurses!!"
The innocent Mr Mole meets the intelligent Mr Rat by the river, they become instant friends and take boat trips and move in together (separate beds!). Rat introduces Mole to Mr Toad who is a crazy rich eccentric who goes through fads of needing to have the latest boat, caravan, motorcar etc. Toad eventually gets himself imprisoned for stealing a motorcar but makes a daring escape from prison dressed as a washerwoman. Very comical character, very boastful, always getting into scrapes and adventures. Badger is friend no 4, he is a little grumpy, keeps himself to himself, but is a loyal friend.
While Toad is imprisoned, Mole and Badger house-sit Toad Hall to keep it safe. However, the evil stoats and weasels overpower them and take Toad Hall. The book ends with the four friends fighting together to get Toad's house back.
The animals are very human in nature. Obviously they can talk, they also eat human food, and they have a class system. Toad would be considered upper class with his money and inheritance whereas the stoats and weasels would be lower class.'

About the author
Kenneth Grahame, the third child of affluent parents, was born in Edinburgh on 8th March 1859.
His first piece of published writing, By a northern furrow, appeared in 1888. Grahame continued to produce articles and stories which were published in the National observer, St James gazette and the Yellow book throughout the 1890's.
In 1899 he married Elspeth Thomson and their only child, Alastair, was born in 1900. Grahame Created Toad to amuse hid young son, and many of Toad's early adventures are chronicled in correspondence. The Wind in the willows was published in 1908 and, whilst it did'nt receive instant acclamation, its reputation grew quickly and it soon became a children's classic. The success of The Wind in the willows rests on Grahame's wonderful characterisation of Toad, Rat, Mole and Badger and a combination of riverbank life, mouth-watering picnics and outrageous adventures. The book's appeal was greatly enhanced by E.H. Shepherd's delightful illustrations in the 1930 edition. A stage version, Toad of Toad Hall, was produced in 1930, dramatised by A.A. Milne. His son Alastair was tragically killed at the age of nineteen, following which Grahame and his wife spent long periods in Italy. Graham did not write any other significant pieces. He died peacefully in 1932 at his home in Pangbourne.
Kenneth is best-loved and remembered for The Wind in the willows, in which he used nature, the constant in his troubled childhood, to create a classic children's tale of characters familiar the world over.

Children's reviews of the book
James Foley:
Liked the book but thought 'there was too much describing'. He thought the author went off the point a bit and sometimes the chapters didn't have anything to do with the story. James gave it 7 out of 10.

Barry Mulligan: He thought the book was 'alright' but thought the old fashioned English language used was weird at first but he got used to it. He too thought the author 'over explained things sometimes'. Overall he thought the story got his imagination going and he too gave it 7 out of 10.

Robert Burke: Thought it was 'good enough but as its classical fiction it wouldn't be something he would usually read'. Fergal thought the description of the story and the characters was excellent. But he thought that the author wasted time with descriptions because sometimes it was boring. He thought the language was something that took him a while to get used to too. 7 out 10

Books For March's bookclub
Books for 9-12 year olds
Book A : Jacky Daydream by Jacqueline Wilson
Book B : Shamanka by Jeanne Willis
Book C : Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

About the books
Jacky Daydream"
- this is going to be very popular. It's basically the autobiography of Jacqueline Wilson (mega popular author with girls, wrote the Tracy Beaker series) but written in storybook style for children. A little girl with lots of imagination and creativity but who is lonely sometimes and whose parents have extra-marital affairs!!  Will be published March 1st.

Shamanka by Jeanne Willis is just about to be published - Sam (female) finds a witch doctors journal and while figuring it out meets mystics, healers and magicians. Teaches you magic tricks etc along the way. Good for 10+

Philip Pullman's "Northern Lights" was easily one of the best children's books in the last 10 years. It's being made into a film with Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman that's coming out for Christmas this year under its American title Golden Compass. Anyway Northern Lights (which is part one of a trilogy) is being re-released soon to celebrate.

Books For March's bookclub
Books for 9-12 year olds
Book A : Jacky Daydream by Jacqueline Wilson
Book B : Shamanka by Jeanne Willis
Book C : Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

How to vote
To vote for your favourite book, just call 1512 71 70 71 and follow the instructions.  Or you can simply text BOOK A, BOOK B or BOOK C to 53555.
Texts and calls cost 25cent.

Price of books: Book prices may vary from shop to shop.
Review copies provided by the publisher.

Books For March Book Club
Jacky Daydream
by Jacqueline Wilson (ISBN- 9780385610155) €14.99
Shamanka by Jeanne Wilson (ISBN 1-84428-649-5 / 9781844286492) €10.45 (Borders 3 for 2)
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (Classic edition and Junior edition available; both in Borders 3 for 2 offer) €10.45 each

(All books provided courtesy of Borders Bookstore, West End Retail Park, Blanchardstown)