Eve and the Kraken hunt by Jess Black
Ill. by Celeste Hulme. Keeper of the Crystals book 8. New
Frontier, 2018. ISBN 9781925594430.
(Age: 6-8) Themes: Fantasy. Dragons. Octopus. Jess Black's Keeper of the Crystals series are fun beginning chapter books with a dash of fantasy, adventure and an environmental message. Friends Eve and Oscar have uncovered the special secret power of crystals and in each story, they travel into a different and dangerous world to help with a crisis.
The friends are staying at Marigold Beach with Eve's grandmother Sylvie. The children love to explore the beach and rock pools as Ingvar the dragon flies in the sky. Eve's discovered an endangered octopus who has been hiding under an outcrop. Oscar and Eve have a lively discussion about the creature's appearance and habitat. Just as she reaches down to touch the purple body, she feels a familiar sensation, grabs the octopus crystal and Oscar's hand. Surrounded by the dragon's wings they are transported into another world, on board a ship hunting for the mysterious sea monster the Kraken.
Eve lands on the deck and tries to blend in with the tough looking crew who are busy unwinding coils of rope. She observes six sailors preparing to fire large crossbows into the sea to kill the feared monster. Luckily, Eve is knocked down the stairs into the dark sailors' sleeping quarters by Leif a young deckhand. As the ship suddenly lists to one side Eve and Leif run up to the deck, Eve senses the giant animal's feelings and rushes to help it.
Jess Black's beautiful descriptions of the huge octopus, the way it rescues both Oscar and Leif and the compassion shown by Eve is heart-warming. Young readers will enjoy the final chapters and the unique way Selsiod the octopus forms new friendships. Celeste Homes' sketches are delightful chapter headings.
Eve and the Kraken hunt is another engaging chapter book for young readers who enjoy fantasy and animal stories.