chosen by Year 5 and 6 students of Kowloon Junior School, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Thanks to Colin Page, Deputy Principal, Kowloon Junior School
Pongwiffy, A Witch of Dirty Habits
Kaye Umansky, Puffin, 0 14 034221 4, £3.99 pbk
Pongwiffy, A Witch of Dirty Habits is a very effective book. It seemed that we were standing there looking at the events happen. It starred Pongwiffy and introduced Hugo the hamster. There was a galaxy of sparkling and exciting performances by these characters. Pongwiffy’s habits are revolting and include practices such as nosepicking, never taking a bath, never washing up and never being interested in Spring cleaning Witch Sharkadder is Pongwiffy’s only friend but they are always quarrelling. Witch Sharkadder is a houseproud witch and thinks a lot about her beauty and hair. Pongwiffy’s interests are different.
The story takes place when Sharkadder steps into a smelly, dark and slimy cave in Witchway Wood. The goblins bring down Pongwiffy’s roof and that’s when the fun begins.
Our favourite part of the book is when Hugo gets very mad and bites Dead Eyed Dudley for calling him ‘a pet’.
We both highly recommend this book and would give it a fabulous rating of ten.
Jackie Cheng and Anna Wong
Connie and Rollo
Dick King-Smith, Young Corgi, 0 552 52795 5, £2.50 pbk
This book contains two stories. The first, Calculating Connie, is about a baby girl whose first word is not a word but a number! Connie successfully manages to add those numbers up! Her capabilities will astonish you as her adventure starts.
Although she was only two, Connie’s Maths’ skills were excellent. She was able to calculate as well as add huge numbers. This naturally amazed her parents. They were extremely happy for her as they thought she was a genius.
Mr and Mrs Button wanted to test Connie to see if she could handle more difficult amounts. For example, Mr Button would take out his pocket calculator and give her difficult sums to calculate. She was able to do multiplication and division with ease.
We feel this book gets a 100% rating. We thought it was exciting and interesting because Connie was too small to add up huge numbers. We liked it because we like Maths and were surprised by Connie’s genius. We recommend this book for children aged 8 and up.
Bhavna Sakhrani and Megha Lahori
The Kingdom by the Sea
Robert Westall, Mammoth, 0 7497 0796 8, £3.99 pbk
The Kingdom by the Sea is a winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award. The story takes place during World War II when the Nazi planes have started bombing Great Britain. Harry is the main character. When his house gets blown up by a bomb, believing that his family have been killed, he runs away with his mother’s attache case. It is his only reminder of his family. What happens to him and the people he meets make an exciting book. We like this book because you can believe the characters really existed. They are both good and evil. A farmer, for example, whips Harry for sleeping in his farm and messing up his hay and nearly shoots Don, Harry’s dog.
Our favourite bit is when Harry, always on his own apart from his dog, fights a gang of boys who have picked on him for no real reason. He breaks the leader’s ankle with a wooden plank. It made us feel that justice was done. We think everybody from nine to twelve years old, who enjoys thoughtful adventure stories, should read this book. We give it an excellent 10 out of 10.
Wen Yang Qi and Jason Chung
Roald Dahl, Puffin, 0 14 031730 9, £4.99 pbk
We think The Witches is a wonderful book for children of eight years old to adults. It is about witches who hate children so much that they are always thinking of new ways to destroy them. They concoct a special formula which they mix into sweets and chocolate. Then they give the sweets to unsuspecting children and enjoy watching the results.
The main characters are the author as a child, his grandmother and the Grand High Witch. The child is an extremely clever boy who tries to outwit the witches with the help of his Grandmother.
Grandmother is a lovely old lady who loves her grandson very much and treats him as a friend and not a child. The Grand High Witch is a terrifyingly wicked witch. She is very ugly, but when she wears her mask she looks beautiful and kind. This is in order to trick the children.
Bruno is a fat, greedy boy who is tricked by the witches. Our favourite part is when the witches all laugh at Bruno. He doesn’t know what they are laughing at, so he starts to laugh also. He is laughing at himself and doesn’t know it.
This is a wonderfully scary book.
The witches are awful and revolting. Roald Dahl has written many good books, but this is one of the best. It is a book to keep on your bookshelf and read again and again. We would give this book 10 out of 10.
Amy Blackwood and Dina Rassoul