Ash Boy is a lovely little antidote for reluctant KS2 readers right up to Yr 6 really who might be struggling to make sense of text or be over phased by too compact a text. It’s got all the elements to ensure a relaxing non fraught read. It is based on a famous fairy tale which I’m sure most, if not all children will recognise and it has a good easy to read font with those appealing spaces so as not to overwhelm.
Cinder Ashok is the hero of the book. I probably don’t need to say too much about the story but it’s a clever twist on Cinderella. His best friend ‘Buttons’ hangs out with him in his favourite place-mine too-the library. Together they share a love of comic book heroes. His step mother and brothers are predictably wicked and nasty – drawn with great fun by Mark Beech. There’s a definite Roald Dahl/Quentin Blake feel to the pictures which all add to the humour in the book and I think this will definitely add to the sheer enjoyment of reading this little corker.
There are many quirky twists to the original Cinderella story the most important of which is the replacement of the ball with a Royal Quintain Contest where the successful participant would win a favour of their choice granted by the princess. Practising when you are banished to the attic rooms is a bit tricky but Cinder manages very well and then dials ‘999 Fairy’ for a bit of extra magical help from… Guess who?