The naming of Tishkin Silk – another little book with big ideas

Millard, Glenda & Magerl, Caroline (2003). The naming of Tishkin Silk. Sydney: ABC Books.

Here’s another book that is well worth reading to your children. Actually I enjoyed it so much I would read it again just for my own pleasure. And just look at that cover*! Isn’t it beautiful? Well, the story that lies within is also beautiful. The plot is great, and the language…. oh…. so sensuous! Glenda Millard has a gift with describing things so that her readers get to not only imagine the scene, but also get a sensory experience of it. Honestly, this is a book to be savoured, to be read and re-read.

The story is about a boy, Griffin, his friend Princess Layla, and a secret in Griffin’s family that is gradually revealed throughout the book. Even as an adult reader of this book I didn’t guess the truth of what had happened in Griffin’s family until just before it was revealed. I had my suspicions, but they were not as heart-breaking as what had actually happened. I won’t give away the ‘punch line’, but I will admit to you that I wept and wept as I read the last two chapters to my daughter. I cried so much that I could hardly read the words aloud to her.

My daughter, who is only six, didn’t really get the story, or the enormity of what happened in Griffin’s family, but she did enjoy the story, especially the parts that made us laugh, and the descriptions of Griffin’s and Layla’s school. She asked for a few chapters to be read to her every night, and has also had me read the other three books in the series to her (which have been, in my opinion, just as good as this first one). I would suggest these books would be better suited to children of about 9 or 10 years of age.

I have fallen in love with all the characters in this series of books. I wish I could live with the Silk family, or at least visit them for Saturday breakfast. I want my children to have a grandmother just like Nell, and I hope my daughter gets a teacher like Miss Cherry (from the books later in the series) at school this year. Somehow I doubt she will. [SIGH.]

Here’s a list of the books in the Kingdom of Silk series (so far):

The naming of Tishkin Silk (as above).

Millard, Glenda & King, Stephen Michael (2006). Layla Queen of Hearts. Sydney: ABC Books.

Millard, Glenda & King, Stephen Michael (2008) Perry Angel’s suitcase. Sydney: ABC Books.

Millard, Glenda & King, Stephen Michael (2009) All the colours of paradise. Sydney: ABC Books.

They come with my tick of approval! Read them if you get a chance!

* Used with permission.

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