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The Tindims of Rubbish Island and The Spooky Secret

Authored by Sally Gardener
Illustrated by Lydia Corry
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

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The fifth book in the series, The Tindims return for this new adventure which yet again invites you into the world of Rubbish Island.

The usual inhabitants of Rubbish Island are getting ready to harvest their pumpkins but have no knowledge of the concept of Halloween or witches for that matter. As they are about to harvest the pumpkin, some strange goings on occur and that is when Broom meets a witch. Instead of being afraid, he welcomes her and asks her poignant questions. It is from this meeting that The Tindims begin to learn about the ideas of Halloween or as they know it, Tindiween. The story ends with a wonderful letter back to the Tindims showing that we can all learn from each other’s traditions.

One of the most successful elements of this tale is the accessibility of the text itself. The story is written in dyslexia friendly font, with words chosen that are readable for most children without hiding away from interesting, funny and intriguing content. The chapter summaries at the start of each small section also make the book readable as it allows for discussion and predictions before further reading. The chapters of this tale are also manageable meaning that the story can be read in chunks without loss of meaning.

The map at the start of the story of Rubbish Island is a great stimulus for learning, from traditional map work to learners creating maps of islands of their own, the story provides rich opportunities for learning.

The environmental core of The Tindims series is evident throughout this tale and would allow for rich discussion about what we do with our waste. The story also allows for an alternative way to view Halloween through the eyes of those who are new to the tradition. It is a modern take on a traditional spooky adventure.