Kim and Leon live on a farm in Suffolk, England. Kim is a schoolboy and Leon is his pet donkey. A rainy day encounter leads them on an adventure far away in Africa. Along the way there are dangers, and fears about who can be trusted. There is also the threatening presence of a slave ship, looming in the bay. This book comes with tasks of writing, acting and drawing. This is a simplified version of the original book. It suits especially ESL pupils.
I would like to start off saying that I do think this book is an excellent teaching tool, the tasks and the style it’s written in can be exceedingly beneficial for students, especially ESL students.
The writing is also not just what’s used in a good teaching tool but it’s also whimsical and entertaining for the children. And I find this is just as important when you’re looking for a book for students.
I really enjoyed the whimsy and magic in it, but it was a bit of a sharp turn for me while reading to go from that whimsy to 1702 slave trading. I think I didn’t rate this higher because I wasn’t sure of the approach to slave trading int hat time period, it’s a rather sensitive subject and I’m not sure what is the right way to do it, but I do think Allen did a pretty good job handling it.
If only there had been more Leon in the story! However, our magical donkey has a certain purpose and Kim was there to learn things on his own. I thought Kim was a really well written character and I enjoyed reading about him.
Overall a really useful teaching tool and a fun read. It wasn’t bogged down with too much terminology and was the perfect use of language for ESL kids.
Three large cups of coffee from me!
Thank you to Anne and the author for a copy of this in exchange for my honest review as part of the blog tour.
About the Author
Barnaby Allen was born in Suva Fiji, as his father was working there for the British Crown. He was introduced to literature by his mother, who liked to recite poetry and had a gift of telling engaging stories. As an adult Barnaby Allen worked in education in several countries mostly teaching English. He loved travel, classical music, discussions, current affairs, Pacific affairs, family, good food and board games. Barnaby’s children also had the benefit of Barnaby telling stories to them and making the characters come alive with acting out different roles.
The Rest of the Tour