You may well have heard of Judith Kerr before and if you have, the chances are it’s because of the childrens book “The Tiger that Came to Tea” or the Mog books. However I was offered her latest book “Mister Cleghorn’s Seal” to review and since it’s aimed at 7+ years, I figured it would be perfect as my girls are 7 and 10.
Lily and I read the book together as a bed time story, over 3-4 nights. It’s not a big book and it isn’t broken into chapters, but it’s more than you’d want to read in one sitting, unless you were sitting down for maybe 30 minutes or so.
An exquisite new story to delight readers young and old, from a much-loved writer and illustrator.
What do you do if you find an abandoned seal pup on a rock in the middle of the sea? Well, take it home with you to your flat, of course.
At least that’s what Mr Albert Cleghorn thought, though perhaps he hadn’t considered all the complications…
This is the story of what then happened to Mr Cleghorn and Charlie the seal in their determination to find a home for Charlie and, incidentally, happiness for them both.
Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, Mister Cleghorn’s Seal is a classic in the making from the inimitable Judith Kerr.
Lily and I both enjoyed the book – a story about Mister Cleghorn, who now retired, is lost for something to do and takes a vacation by visiting his brother. While there he find a seal and decides to take it home with him. The story is cute and endearing, it’s also well written and enjoyable. However, I’m not entirely convinced that the target audience is 7+. Lily did enjoy the book, but it wasn’t really on par with a lot of the other books we’ve been reading recently – James and the Giant Peach, Matilda etc. It was probably the right reading level for her – as in, she could have read it herself – but the storyline probably wouldn’t have been something she would have picked.
As a massive fan of stories like Catch a Star, Lost and Found, Room on the Broom, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and even The Tiger that Came to Tea, I didn’t find this book in the same league. It’s a good story and I enjoyed reading it, but I think it’s still a young child’s book when being read to a child, and unfortunately not the right topic to attract 7+ years.