Review Blog

Feb 17 2016

Arthur and the curiosity by Lucinda Gifford

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Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760068387
(Age: 5+) Warmly recommended. Museums. Curiosity. School. When Arthur and his class goes to the museum, odd things happen. Arthur sees an animal in a glass fronted case simply called The Curiosity. It is unlike anything else in the museum, and when he returns to have another look, it is gone. While travelling through the museum with the rest of his class and the increasingly frazzled teacher, Miss Blunkett, Arthur has glimpses of the escaped animal. Children reading the book will love following Arthur and the rest of his class, and picking out the appearances of The Curiosity as they turn the pages.
I cringed with recognition at the increasingly tired and unfocussed class. At the start they are together in a bunch, attentive to Miss Blunkett's instructions (well, almost!) but part way through they are shown all over the place as their individual interests take hold, before coming back to the group to go home. Miss Blunkett's cry , 'Move on through' is reminiscent of tour leaders and guides pushing a group from one end to the other.
Apart from the funny story, following Arthur and his spying of the animal, the book informs classes about what they might see at a museum, piquing their interest in a forthcoming excursion through the highly detailed illustrations. I can imagine lots of discussion about excursions past and future emanating from reading this book.
Fran Knight

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