Thursday, 23 September 2021

One Hundred and One Daffodils by Malachy Doyle and Denise Hughes (Children's, 5 years +, 10E/10E)


July 2021, Bloomsbury Education, 48 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Bloomsbury

Dusty the fox cub can't wait for her very first spring; Dad has told her there will be a big party. All Dusty has to do is find 101 daffodils to prove it really is spring. That is a lot of flowers! Will Dusty and her friends be able to find them all? This heart-warming tale from Irish author Malachy Doyle is perfect for Key Stage 1 (KS1) children who are learning to read by themselves. It features engaging illustrations from Denise Hughes and explores the themes of seasons and plant life cycles.

Nayu's thoughts

Every element of this book is bright and cheerful. Even when Dusty falls out with her friend Mabel the mole her father gives her hope that the next day all will be well, just as he does when a storm comes and brings a halt to Dusty's daffodil count. The storm wrecks some of the daffodils too, but many more survive and pop up over the several days that Dusty's search takes part in. I love the curiosity of Dusty and her friends, they delight in the natural wonders of the world in Spring, which can be fragile. Dusty learns about family traditions from her father of when he was a cub counting daffodils. Having the count last several days feels more realistic than finding them all in one day, as daffodils pop up a few at a time until suddenly there are loads of them. The illustrations are full of movement and cuteness, it is so easy to imagine Dusty sniffing for the scent of daffodils, racing around to find them all. I know I will be looking at the pictures from time to time instead of reading the story when I want a pick me up!

Inside the front and back cover are tips on what to get the reader to look out for, subjects to make them think about as well as basic comprehension questions. It even encourages getting a bulb and watching it grow, although this may be dependent on which season it is when the book is read. Incorporating science with reading is a great learning tool. 

Find out more on Malachy's website and Denise's website.

Suggested read

Another bright fun read can be found in Splash Day by Nick Sharratt (Children's, 5 years +, Dyslexia Friendly, 9/10E)


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