Playing by the book

Reviews of kids' books and the crazy, fun stuff they inspire us to do

Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Fantasy fiction with animals!

Posted on | January 13, 2010 | 3 Comments

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Today’s list of books for Fantastic Fiction for Kids comes from Ella, one third of the team behind the very best radio programme for kids anywhere in the world – Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child. (I have no affiliation with them – I’m just a big fan!)

Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child is a weekly radio show for kids and their grownups, originating from Northampton, Massachusetts, but available to listen to anytime over the internet via WRSI.com. Spare the Rock is a family production, with Bill Childs and his kids Ella (our guest poster today) and Liam hosting and producing, and They. Really. Rock. If you like music, if you want to hear great music, if you want to discover brilliant music that you will really enjoy as well as your kids, then you must find a way to listen to Spare the Rock!

But it’s not all music – most shows there’s Book Time with Ella, and The River (the radio station where the show originates) organizes an annual family music and book festival – this year they’ve already got Mo Williams confirmed as attending.

Now a little bit more about our guest poster today. Ella says of herself, “I’m 10 years old and I like to fence and to play soccer. I enjoy school and reading a lot. I hope to be a paleontologist when I grow up.” And here are the books she’s chosen for us:

into_the_wild_frontcoverInto the Wild (Volume 1 of the Warriors series) by Erin Hunter
Rusty is a house cat that dreams of living in the wild. He gets his chance when he is invited to live with a group of wild cats. He goes of to live with them in the wild. There he learns many important lessens and finds a home. I like this book because it
shows how the smallest are as important as the rest.
mariel_frontcoverMariel of Redwall by Brian Jacques
A mouse named Mariel washes up with no memory. She goes to Redwall Abbey and there recovers her memory. She learns that her father has been capture by Gabool the Wild and goes to kill him. I like this book because it’s so thrilling.
despereaux_frontcoverThe Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
The tale of a mouse with ears too big. Despereaux falls in love with a beautiful princess. When she is kidnapped he goes on a quest to find her. I like this book because it has a great style of writing.

As to music to read by (extra music today what with our guest poster and her Dad being DJs!), you could try:

  • Wild Cat by Marty Wilde & The Wild Cats
  • What kind of cat are you? by Billy Jonas
  • My cat can fly by Joe McDermott
  • Fat cat keeps getting fatter by Squirrel Nut Zippers
  • Does Your Cat Have A Mustache? by The Format
  • Of Mice and Mensch by Daddy a Go Go
  • Songs from Redwall – a CD of 47 different songs from the unabridged Redwall audiobooks, some of which, like Mariel Of Redwall – Winter O you can also find on YouTube, or
  • Soup, soup by Cathy and Marcy (soup is a feature in The Tale of Despereaux)


  • If you or your kids enjoy Into the Wild you might want to explore the official website of the Warriors series, or the teachers or readers guides to Into the Wild published by Harper Collins.


    Activities, including several fun sounding recipes, relating to Mariel of Redwall can be found at TeacherVision, or at Carol Hurst’s Children’s Literature Site.


    Since being made into a film there are plenty of movie related activities for The Tale of Despereaux – for example at Activity Village or Peppers and Pollywogs. At the other end of the scale, here’s a 20 page teacher’s guide to the book, from Candlewick.

    My big thanks to Ella for this lovely selection of books – and now please do go and check out Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child and say hello to her, her Dad and her brother!

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    Comments

    3 Responses to “Fantastic Fiction for Kids – Fantasy fiction with animals!”

    1. Ashley
      January 13th, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

      Ella, what a great selection of books, I like the look of Into the Wild especially.

    2. vanessa@silly eagle books
      January 17th, 2010 @ 10:53 pm

      I love hearing book suggestions from 10 year olds! These look great. Somehow I missed this post earlier this week.

      Thanks, too for the haiti blog links. I’m off to check them out!

    3. Zoe @ Playing by the book
      January 28th, 2010 @ 7:09 am

      Kat Cooks the Books has a soup recipe to go with the Tale of Desperaux:
      http://katcooksthebooks.blogspot.com/2010/01/soup-of-desperaux.html

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