Reviews /

Earth, Sea and Stars

Authored by Isabel Otter
Illustrated by Ana Sender
Published by Little Tiger

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This fresh collection of 20 short stories takes readers on a journey around the globe, across cultures, and through time. Each tale draws upon the enduring magic of ancient storytelling and speak of, and to the natural world, in celebration and with respect. In the course of the book, we are entertained as we learn more of the strength and fragility of the world around us. Isabel Otter offers warm and sensitive retellings, with supportive background materials and pointers for discussion. All of this is accompanied by Ana Sender’s beautiful illustrations.

It is a collection that offers a thoughtful stance on the constraints that can squeeze some of the life out of our interaction with stories in the busy classroom. Here we have an array of stories that are well-told, carry important, ever-more-pressing messages, strong visuals, and follow-up support to boot. It might also help to widen the net of that thread of traditional tales required under the auspices of the national curriculum – a world of traditional storytelling, more than just a continent.

Earth, Sea and Stars is also a notably inviting book – physically and figuratively. It feels good to hold if that makes sense. Something that’s hard to rationalise but matters very much. It is likely to entice young readers, from Year 2 upwards into your book corner to re-read their favourite tales.