My slugs and I had previously read D M Potter's In the Magician's House and Once Upon an Island follows the same formula of interactivity. This is fun, intriguing and with a little bit of history and geography about New Zealand thrown in too - not so much that my brain might explode. Unlike last time with In the Magician's House I actually made it to the end and got to meet a certain Captain and then was able to decide my own fate. I think children will love it, my slugs did, and I can recommend it if you're looking for something a little different and challenging for your 7 - 11 year olds.
This brings me back to my pre-slug days. I remember reading/playing this kind of book/game when I was a little tulip but we had to use a die. I didn't expect it when I first saw this book and was delighted to discover it was interactive as it filled me with tonnes of nostalgia and aromas of tulips. Unfortunately, I ended up being turned to stone on my first go and had to return to the beginning, which made me very angry and forced me to throw a cabbage at Dieter. I'm just not very good. It's unusually written and that was pleasing and is definitely not your run-of-the-mill fairytale so I think it's got something new to offer to young readers. This is a lot of fun and I'm sure many kids will love it as much as I love planning military attacks with my slugs.
Choosing books worthy enough to be read and reviewed by Elias Zapple.