Juniper Mae: Knight of Tykotech City by Sarah Soh

I may have shared my journey as a reader before so apologies if you’ve heard me drone on about this before. As a child books held little interest to me…I was labelled a reluctant reader, however I read constantly. I read comics! It was my entire reading diet, I made my own on wet weekends, and on our weekly school library visit was the recycling of the same three graphic novels. I really to wish there were more books like Juniper Mae for me to explore.

Juniper Mae lives in a place that is truly amazing; the technology has brought peace and comfort to everyone. It a city were the impossible is possible, there is always a price to pay even if it is hidden. Cutting themselves off from the outside world seemed a fair price until the city starts to experience unexpected power cuts.

The gifts Juniper has means she may just be the only person able to fix the problem and save the city. Even if that means going beyond the city walls and face the wild beasts…if the myths are true!

Sarah Soh is a cracking storyteller and this adventure is hopefully one of many for Juniper Mae. The style reminds me of manga, Japanese comic books, that is perfectly executed for younger children. The energy and cuteness is a great blend to draw in the reader to what is a fantastic story.

Now for the teacher bit. As always, I strongly think graphic novels are an underused tool when it comes to teaching writing. Think of a standard page with a story told in panels – each panel provides a snapshot of the plot and how the characters act for a writer to describe. How often as a teacher as a teacher do you have to describe the sequence of something to expand on a simple point in a story? Using a comic book page to aid this is an easy win. Teaching speech using comic book pages is also a no brainer as the visual representation of the bubble and speaker does a lot to model the abstract. Juniper Mae is also handy in the classroom due to the theme of the book – humankind and nature living in harmony – as it is important idea to expose children to at a young age. Add this to the fact that the manga style opens up a whole new culture of reading to the audience.

A book my friends and I would have loved to have in my primary classroom – a must buy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: