This is a wonderful, engaging book with fabulous illustrations about a puffling who finds an egg and looks to find its nest; it meets some challenges such as the windy weather along the way to fulfil its quest. On its journey, it meets a variety of both land and sea creatures e.g. a rabbit, a cormorant, a storm petrel and an octopus to name but  a few. Finally, it finds the egg’s nest before the egg cracks and a little puffling appears from the shell much to the delight of its parents but also the puffling. It now has a new friend with whom it can play.

The children in my Senior Infants class found the book captivating and adored the colourful, vibrant illustrations which  really bring Skellig Michael  to life. There are many curricular subjects that one can teach using this book as a springboard from SESE to SPHE and Art, the possibilities are endless. In my class, we examined where Skellig Michael was on the map of Ireland and discussed how we would get there i.e. the need to go by boat and the importance of learning how to swim, given that people may fall overboard if on a boat in windy weather.

I also showed the children one of the numerous online videos about puffins. The children worked in pairs to discuss what they had learnt and the fact they found most interesting which they shared with the class. Who knew that puffins could hold so many fish in its mouth? I showed the children various images of puffins on Skellig Michael, and they used these as a stimulus to work in pairs painting the puffins on the island.

At the end of the book, there is a lovely summary of key facts about some of the creatures that feature in the book e.g. an octopus can change its colour to show that it is in a bad mood. We compared this to how humans and other animals show how they are not in good humour. I also shared stories of my holidays on Valentia Island and my trips to Skellig Michael which prompted the children to talk about their holidays in Ireland. This discussion reinforced that there are many fantastic places to visit in Ireland.

This is a captivating story with amazing illustrations which appeals to both children and adults alike. It would make a great addition to the class libraries in the Infant classes and First class.

By Sandra Doody, Class Teacher, St. John’s NS, Co. Dublin.

Puffling and the Egg” by Erika Mc Gann and Gerry Day, published by O’ Brien Press, is on sale now for €9.99 (P/B), €14.99 (H/B).

Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, O’ Brien Press, free of charge to Seomra Ranga for the purposes of this review.