The Boy Who Made Things Up by Margaret Mahy Review

Red Early Reader

Reviewed by Louise Platt

The Boy Who Made Things Up is a Red Early Reader which is described as “the next step on your reading journey”. It is 58 pages long with about 25 words on each illustrated page.

My son who is five, is not a confident reader and has a long way to go before he could read this level of book independently so we always read books like this together. My daughter who is seven and a very advanced reader would have no trouble at all with it.

My first impression of this book is the quality. It’s a paperback with a glossy front and back cover and really thick stock paper inside.

The book is one complete story. The story focuses on a father and son relationship. The son, Michael, rarely gets to spend any quality time with his dad who is always at work or tinkering with cars in his garage at home. One day the dad finds himself with some free time at a weekend (as his car is in the ‘real’ garage being fixed) so he suggests he and Michael go for a walk together. It is during this walk that the dad discovers that Michael has an extraordinary imagination which he uses to add colour and excitement to his life. The father is reluctant to join in at first but as he does he realises he’s having lots of fun and is also finding out more about his son in the process. The story ends with the realization that he should spend more time with his son so there is quite a strong moral to it which I really liked.

The illustrations are beautiful and very clever. The dad starts off on page one completely blacked out – just a shadow figure. As we see more of him he turns grey/brown in colour and at the end of the book has rosy cheeks and brightly coloured clothes.

There are lots of opportunities to discuss what’s going on in the pictures which really capture a child’s imagination. My son loved it – and so did I.

I would highly recommend this book and would really like to read more books in the Early Reader Series.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £4.99 (paperback) / £2.49 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.


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