May 2015

"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it."
- Roald Dahl

The possibility of magic and what the world would look like if it was filled with it, is a theme in many of our favourite reads, here are a few and a reminder of why we love them.

J M Barrie's Peter Pan has it all: flying, fairies, mermaids, pirates, and ticking crocs! What's not to love about this tale of adventure as Wendy, John and Michael visit the land hidden second star to the right and straight on til morning?

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy takes place across several parallel universes. In the first of the trilogy, Northern Lights, we follow Lyra; in her world, humans are accompanied by daemons, animal embodiments of their inner selves. Lyra over-hears dark secrets and begins a desperate chase to the Arctic wastes, accompanied by witches and an armoured bear.

TH White's classic The Sword in the Stone, traces the story of the legendary King Arthur. This story follows the young Arthur whilst he is being tutored by wizard Merlin who is trying to prepare him for the power and responsibilities of being King, creating an adventure which is full of magic and humour.

L Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy (and dog Toto) on a whirlwind adventure as she is catapulted to the magical land of Oz by a tornado. Dorothy meets the Lion, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow along the way, as she takes the advice of the Good Witch of the North and travels to find the Wizard of Oz in the hope he will send her back to Kansas.

Roald Dahl wrote many books with an element of magic in them. In James and the Giant Peach, our title character spills a magic potion which causes the growth of a peach the size of a house. James discovers a secret door in the peach and enters, finding a group of human-sized, talking invertebrates. This is where the adventure really begins!

Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch, takes us to Miss Cackle's Academy, a school for learning how to cast spells and make potions. Mildred, however can't seem to make any of her potions work correctly. And as for flying a broomstick, even Mildred's cat is avoiding that!

So, if you are looking for witches and wizards, alternative worlds and fantastic adventures, look no further than any of the books above, or the numerous other magical tales on the Kumon Recommended Reading List.