Lately I’ve needed to read several children’s picture books for school. Here I’ll jot down my thoughts about them, whether I’d recommend them or not, and if I’d have liked to see it in a classroom or as something for kids I know to read.
The Pied Piper’s Magic by Steven Kellogg.
-This is a retelling of the Pied Piper like you’ve never seen it before, and not only because the main character and piper is an elf named Peterkin.
-The story was a little odder than expected. The pipe doesn’t play music; it plays words into the air, which can sometimes be flipped around to magically transform things into something other than what they originally were.
-The illustrations are very vivid, with wonderful colors and words piped by Peterkin woven into the backgrounds in very interesting and cool ways.
-Reading this aloud to a child would be a chore because of all of the words spelled out in the books (like r-a-t-s which can’t be read as rats) though it would teach younger kids more about spelling and how different words can look and sound similar.
-Because the story focuses so much on words and not real “magic” like might be anticipated from the cover, it’s less magical than grammatical.
I think this book could be useful when children are beginning to learn to spell and write, though it wasn’t a favorite of mine. I wouldn’t want to have to read it aloud (some of the words spelled out are quite long, when they’re repeated several times!) and kids might be confused when trying to read it themselves. Still, the pictures are really captivating, and of course there’s a happy ending to look forward to.