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Elton the Flying Crane by Marion Day

Elton is gigantic. Elton is strong and determined. But he’s still a softie with a big heart. Hold on tight as he and his rescue friends, Connie the chopper and Flaps the water bomber, whisk you away on four adventures.Elton the Flying Crane consists of four action stories: Elton the Flying Crane, Elton and the Wildfire, Elton and the Whales and Elton and the Storm. Each story follows a simple well-trod formula - there is a dilemma that needs solving. Within this, author Marion Day ensures younger readers learn about friendship, achievement and adventure.Day is well-known for her environmental stories (Pakupaku Pīwakawaka; Dobby;

Kōwhai Kids, to name just a few). While at first Elton may seem quite different to her usual topics, the environment features heavily, with the effects of climate, weather and animals all forming the crux of Elton's problems to solve.

The stories are aimed towards the younger reader who are keen to make the step up to reading longer texts. Each story is just the right length for those wanting to build up reader mileage by themselves, or for parents and caregivers to read one at a time. Day uses some great writing features, with some great similes, metaphors and onomatopoeia within.

One downside of having all four within one book is the physical weight of the book - I saw some younger readers struggling to find a comfy spot to curl up with this book. I hope the weight and hardcover doesn't lend itself to children passing over the book for something easier to hold.

Illustrator Richard Hoit brings Elton and his world to life. Hoit's an accomplished artist - with his work gracing the pages of many school readers, among other things. His art is crisp and clean, with plenty of character. The characters, all transport, are expressive and full of personality. Hoit uses lots of different perspectives and scale to bring Day's story to life and keep readers engaged.

Transportation is always a huge hit with younger children and Elton the Flying Crane will captivate machine-loving readers.

Reviewer: Rebekah Lyell

Marion Day


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