It's December and the time of year when we think about presents (or not!); how much we should spend and what we should buy. Well, you know me, I'm a booky person and I want all my friends to be too) although sadly they are not! But here's a new one that might be just the thing for a booky child - say a good reader of seven years onwards up to ten or so depending on what they like. It's also a great book to read aloud.
Podkin, who at the beginning of the book still has both ears, is the son of a chieftain. Not a human but a rabbit, living in a large warren in a pleasant place, leading a fun life, mitching off lessons, eating too much and generally enjoying a life like any eight year old rabbit would. Until one day the unspeakable happens. Raider rabbits arrive at the warren and force themselves in. Podkin's father is killed, an aunt helps Podkin and his siblings to safety, but does not leave herself. They are running, running, running, away from the Gorm, the most terrible of rabbit enemies.
It isn't Watership Down, it's not The Lord of the Rings either, but it is closer to the latter in it's tale of bravery, seeking that which is lost, and fighting the enemy. In their flight, they are helped by a witch and a blind soldier - and Podkin, his sister Paz and the baby Pook are soon living a life so far removed from their old one in the home warren that it might have been a dream. There is violence and scary stuff in this book - just the sort that children like! Just wait till you see what havoc Podkin can wreak with his very special bronze knife which is one of the twelve articles that the Gorm want to find and destroy. Some nice black and white pencil drawing illustrations too, which were very close to my imaginings.
Just right for a stocking!