The Tindims and the Ten Green Bottles
The Tindims and the Ten Green Bottles by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Lydia Corry, is the third book in the series which begins with a hunt for ten green bottles to create a ‘Bottlerama’ – a musical instrument played to welcome the much-missed explorer (Tiddledim) to the island. However, the search for bottles is momentarily halted when they discover that a whale is lost at sea. This leads to further adventures with a Little Long Leg, a present, a dangerous encounter with a bottle of slime and an eventual solution in the most unlikely of places.
This collection of books have become well known for their accessible language. Printed in a Dyslexia friendly font, the story features short, fast-paced chapters but does not detract from what is a fun and heart-warming story. The illustrations impart facts and give depth to the characters and setting. As keen conservationists, Gardner and Corry present a message of real importance – that, ‘rubbish today is treasure tomorrow.’ Where Long Legs (adults) can’t be spoken to anymore because they are ‘grown up’, children are encouraged to become the heroes the world so desperately needs. They have the power to make change happen.
Whether this book is read by the individual or as a group/class reader, it will make a fantastic addition to a KS1 class library. There is so much scope for discussion not just about the environment and recycling but about sea creatures, voyages, climate, weather and teamwork. In its own unique way the Island is always moving and for this story, finds itself in warmer waters. Ethel B Dina’s description of her surroundings as, ‘The Land of the Midnight Sun,’ allows children to explore what it might be like to live somewhere where it is always dark or always sunny. The poems and songs (and of course a great rendition of ten green bottles) lend themselves beautifully to choral reading and subsequently, children can produce songs of their own about their surroundings and things that they hold dear.
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