Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Golden Seahorse – Sally Gardner

Through the books I have read over the last few months I have become a huge admirer of titles by Sally Gardner, her Invisible in a Bright Light still has me reflecting on its storyline, the revelations within the books pages, and the way it made my brain wake up and imagine so much more than I anticipate from children books. I highly recommend it for those of you that haven’t had the pleasure.

This is the first time I have come across a Mr Tiger book, and I have since learnt there are several more, and it was such a beautiful read that I will be seeking out the others to enjoy and recommend to young readers in my library too.

This story tells of a father and daughter who live in a cafe that ends up with huge holes throughout as some necessary diy takes place to enable Betsy’s mum to be able to come and stay, feeling comfortable and welcome while she does. Being a mermaid makes it difficult for Betsy’s mum to feel at home prior to the renovations and she has been living deep in the ocean amongst her family and friends. Betsy enjoys the opportunity to go stay and see what it is like for her mum, but she is equally glad to head home to her dad and the routine she is used too.

Her routine goes completely out of the window when Mr Tiger arrives, and soon after they find themselves trying to save the day by solving an ongoing dispute between a giant octopus and a seapig which is disrupting the tide and concerning others. When it comes down to a seahorse race it is up to Betsy to win and save the day! The story is fun, enjoyable, and will definitely make the reader smile and laugh. It is ideal for those starting out in the world of chapter books, gaining confidence as they read, especially as this story has the depth and quality that ensures the read feels a part of the adventure, and comes away wanting to talk about the story, recommending it to friends too.

What is there not to enjoy within this book, it ticks all the boxes for me. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments whilst there is equally times when the tension is building too. There are some crazy characters such as the Gongalongs, who bounce around like acrobatic bouncy balls, and Betsy’s dad makes delicious food including tasty sounding ice cream, so you are constantly drawn to the content and the details that are threaded throughout the story, offering the reader a realistic familiarity. Alongside the gorgeous illustrations that accompany the story throughout, and the text being blue – giving that oceanic feel – this book really is the perfect choice for children who enjoy underwater adventures, mermaids, LOL books, and saving the day. The font being Dyslexie alongside the blue colourisation is intended to enable readers that are Dyslexic to enjoy the book too, making this an inclusive title for all, and such a considerate and heartwarming choice from the publishers.

Other titles in this series of books featuring Mr Tiger include Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Blue Moon, and Mr Tiger, Betsy and the Sea Dragon. These books are published by Head of Zeus and are available to purchase from all good booksellers.

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