Louie Stowell, illus. Davide Ortu
Age 7-8 years
It is the beginning of the holidays, and Kit and her friends are wondering what to do. Kit is not keen on the idea of going to the library, which sounds far too boring, and she hates reading anyway. Little does she know that her visit will lead to some amazing discoveries, firstly that she is a wizard, secondly that some books are magical portals and thirdly that a dragon lives below the library.
There follows an adventure story, with lots of fantasy including magical beasts and an evil villain and quite a bit of humour. Themes include teamwork as well as the power of books and the importance of libraries and librarians.
Watch the first chapter read aloud by the author
Talk about the story
What would you tell someone about this story?
What do you find out about Kit and her friends Josh and Alita?
Talk about their different personalities and strengths, the ways they are different and how they help solve the problem together.
Share opinions of Hadrian Salt and his plans
What sort of magical powers would you like to have? Share ideas.
Things to make and do
Make a zig zag book about the characters
Introduce each of them with a picture, their name and – what is distinctive about each of them
Write a wish list of spells
Think about the kind of basic spells you would like to do. Make a list explaining why you would do each one.
Dress up as a wizard
You could use a piece of fabric or old sheet and use a yellow felt pen to add stripes or shiny stars cut from kitchen foil for sparkles. Once your cloak is decorated it’s time to practise spell making
Make a chart
Make a chart of the 7 different kinds of magic – Elemental, Physical, Scrying, Illusion, Transformation, Wild and Mind
Make a pop-up book
Children could make their own imaginary portal book on a theme of their choice eg Choose a eg dragons or dinosaurs. They will need some A4 card or stiff paper for the cover and several pieces of folded paper for the pages inside. See here for more information.
Make a collage or painting of Draca the dragon sitting on her hoard of treasure
Get to know your local library
Visit your local library together and have a good look around spotting the different categories in the children’s section – and if you are allowed to perhaps the adult library too, although you are not likely to find a portal book you can looking for the fiction and nonfiction. Before you leave choose some books to borrow and if you are not a member this would be a good opportunity to sign up!
See our activity book here
Find out more