Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sydney and the Sea Monster by David Elliot

This is the first book I have read by New Zealander author/illustrator David Elliot and I was impressed. It proved to be a superb tool for teaching my students how to write a narrative focusing on character development, conflicts and resolutions. It also affords some nice examples of literary devices such as similes, personification and the deft use of adverbs. My upper primary audience really appreciated the humour in the book, especially the "candles with strange long wicks" which the main character Sydney Penguin discovers in a mysterious box that has been thrown up out of the swell of the sea. The story focuses on this would-be inventor and an Antarctic community of animals who live in constant fear of sealers and whalers. day indeed they do arrive:

Next morning, the monstrous shadow of a sailing ship loomed out of the mist. It bristled with harpoons and cudgels and a feeling of menace. 
A boat was lowered over the side. The terrified animals began to run.

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