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Evidence shows that reading widely when a child is in primary school brings huge benefits later on. Some of our primary pupils are taking a break from online activities and challenging themselves to read a book. Here Ms Judy, one of our primary school tutors, shares her thoughts about one of her favourite books for children. KENSUKE’S KINGDOM: Michael Morpurgo Illustrated by Michael Foreman. When Michael’s dad is made redundant, he disappears from home. A week later he telephones Michaels’ mum to say that he has found them a new place to live. It is a boat called the ‘Peggy Sue.’ Dad, Mum, Michael, and their dog Stella Artois can now sail around the world! Michael can be schooled by his mum and they can visit family in Australia. All goes well until the boat hits a very bad storm. Michael and his dog, Stella Artois, are sent overboard. There is darkness. Michael wakes up on a beach. He is delighted to see that his dog, Stella Artois, is with him but there is no sign of the boat, nor the rest of his family. Without food and water, and exhausted, Michael finds a small cave near the beach and goes to sleep. He wakes to hear Stella lapping at water. He realises that she is drinking from a small bowl that has been placed high above him on the rocks. There is also food. But where has it come from? As Michael and Stella explore further, they become aware that they are being watched… Who is it who is watching them? ***** 'This book is one of my personal favourites and one that I know appeals to readers in Years 5 & 6. The narrative unfolds in such an exciting way and the writer movingly explores the unlikely relationship between two people who do not speak the same language.' Michael Morpurgo is a brilliant writer. His books span a variety of themes and are suitable for many age ranges. His moving account of WW1 in ‘War Horse’ is also a must for pupils in Years 5 & 6. For younger readers in Years 3 & 4, ‘The Butterfly Lion’ is an ideal read.

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