BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
Book Title: Milton the Mighty (available here)
Author: Emma Read
Illustrator: Alex G Griffiths
Publisher: Chicken House
Publication Date: July 2019
Most Suitable For: Lower KS2
Reviewed by: Suzanne Booth (@CreativeMrsB), Class Teacher
As a lifelong spider hater, the revelation that this ‘mighty yet teeniest superhero’ was a member of the arachnid family did initially cast a shadow over the anticipated enjoyment of a new book. Yet I couldn’t have been more wrong! Within the first couple of lines I was chuckling to myself as the ‘big house human’ (who could essentially be me), is screaming in such a way that the ‘occasionally mistaken for a raisin’ little hero is baffled that all this commotion is because of him!
It transpires that the eight-legged protagonist has become notorious over the internet – not him personally, but his species. This sets him off on an adventure to clear his name, along with some equally amusing other residents of the dark corners of the house. Our brave little hero also soon realises that the only way he can truly succeed is to befriend his (smaller) house human, Zoe.
This is a great book that plugs a gap in books for children who are transitioning from reading scheme books to free-reading titles, such as those in lower KS2. Finding a range of books that appeal to a younger audience, that give enough challenge, but that are not too daunting is something that I, as a teacher, find hard to come by. This book is perfect for those younger readers venturing out in the world of ‘big’ books, written with an engaging pace and a heart-warming sense of humour that is sure to appeal.
I also enjoyed the book's themes of acceptance, understanding difference and the importance of being proud of who you are. In addition, the strong sense of friendship highlights what working together can achieve.
Unlike scaredy-cat big humans, little humans are generally more forthcoming with the hairy, multi-legged creatures that inhabit the dirtiest and darkest parts of the house. And despite the cover instantly revealing that Milton is indeed a little spider, the charming character on the front of the visually appealing book is sure to get little hands grabbing for it. Not only that, I’m sure they will be intrigued to dive in and find out what does make this spider so mighty!
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Suzanne for reviewing it.