Paperback illustrated childrens book.
Sunday Jones believes in hope, and that you will always find it somewhere.
The Great Orlando believes in the magic of the dove...
I won this book at a quiz night i attended recently, i knew that KIWIreviews had been given this book by Scholastic, so was really excited to read it and give my opinion on it as well.
I'm really not sure how to describe this book, apart from it is really strange, I have read below on another review that it is suited for over 6 years, but i personally found that it was a bit disturbing and the themes could of been dealt with in a different better manner. This is a book that I won't be reading again as my son wanted to know why the father was so mean to his son, and why didn't he love him.
It highlights issues such as love, family violence, and the gap between fantasy and reality - though for a child this is very blurred in the story. The magic aspect makes the issues the story tries to bring up even more confusing than they need to be.
The book itself is very long and wordy and the plot develops rather slow with nothing really 'catchy' happening. The end of the story is shocking - i'm unsure what it teaches children with the son (a dove) pooping on his father. This was a really disappointing book and one that I wouldn't of thought Scholastic would put their name against.
Thank you to KIWIreviews and Scholastic books for the opportunity to review this book. I have read this book to eight pre-schoolers ranging in age from two years to 4 3/4.
It was too long and wordy for the two year old who wandered off part way through. The three and four year olds enjoyed it simply as a story about a sad boy who does magic tricks.
I believe older children about six or seven years of age would understand why the boy was so sad. His mother has died and his father is very cruel to him. Magic is literally his escape.
The illustrations are very bold with simple backgrounds. The children could tell easily by the character's facial expression and body language how they were feeling.
The language was very advanced for pre-school children. I was surprised it kept their attention. Like the plot and characterisation, the vocabulary is better suited to a six or seven year old.
28/03/12 ADMIN NOTE: The publishers recommend this title for children aged 6+. It is classified as a "Sophisticated picture book" and contain themes that may require adult supervision and/or discussion.
Umm. What to say about this book... I actually look forward to reading other reviews on this.
When I first picked it up I thought "brilliant a book about a boy magician, my girls will love it". Then, as with all books, I gave it a quick read before we read it together. That quick read was followed by 4 or 5 contemplative reads and I am still not sure if I will read this to my girls until maybe they are older and ready to discuss some of the issues raised in this book.
To explain why I am going to have to describe the story so if you don't want to know the plot then stop reading now.
The Great Orlando begins his life as a small boy named Sunday who lives with an abusive father. When his mother dies his life becomes one of misery. He decides to become "The Great Orlando" for the school concert. He practices and practices and at the end of the story (so I don't give away the middle) a dove flies off and a wet speck lands with a splat in the fathers eye.
The issues that I think you need to be prepared to discuss with your child if you read them this book are child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and death, escaping from a horrible world and revenge.
At the moment I am enjoying my girls life of fantasy, make believe and fairies and I think this book is just a little too sad and real to want to introduce it into our household just yet. When you are ready to talk about those subjects with your children this is perhaps a great book to begin with...!
The illustrations are lovely and I love the cover. If the beginning wasn't so sad and real and the ending was different I would be more enthusiastic for this book - as the middle part of the story is fine - and I regret that I can't be, as the use of a few words changes this from a lovely story to one that is just very sad and real.
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