MILO and The Magical Stones
Written/Illustrated by: Marcus Pfister
Translated by: Marianne Martens
Published by: North-South Books Inc
Ages: 3 – 8 years
Theme: gratitude, consequences, environmental
Opening Lines: In the middle of the sea there was an island, and on this island lived Milo and the other cliff mice. They loved their island. It provided them with food and shelter and protection from the rough storms that pounded waves against the cliffs.
Synopsis: From back of book – On a small island in the middle of the sea, a mouse named Milo makes an extraordinary discovery – a magical stone that gives both light and warmth.
How will this discovery change the lives of Milo and the other mice? Will it bring delight or environmental disaster? The reader must decide. Halfway through the story, the book splits into two sections, each offering a different ending.
Why I like this: Well it’s different, plain and simple. While it has the most cutiest cover, the story inside cleverly allows the reader to decide how it should end. Half way through the pages are purposely split in two with the top pages stating ‘The Happy Ending’ the bottom state ‘The Sad Ending,’ it’s your choice where you go from here. The book is also taller than the normal size one would expect of picture books, but then it allows not only the splitting of the pages, but also allows us to enjoy the fuzzy sweet water based illustrations with shiny gold stones sparkling off the page. Marcus brings environmental issues to the young in a very subtle way, showing them not only the effect today’s environmental choices can have on the future of your planet, but also the consequences in all decisions. It’s about making wise decisions. At the end of the book Milo leaves us with a few tips such as ‘turning off the tap while you brush your teeth and only turn it back on to rinse,’ and ‘turn off lights when you’re not using them.’
Resources/Findings: This book is a great intro for discussions in schools on environmental issues, field trips, etc… Maybe a class project in cleaning up a park or beach, of litter.
Also a great discussion on what are the consequences when something is taken not just in environmental issues but in our everyday life. What resulted? Was it replaced with something else? What harm would it do, or has it done? What can be done to repair this?
“Adopt a piece of earth” is a project suggested by Milo in the back of the book. Plant a vegetable patch or provide food area for birds, bees and butterflies.
This a very cute retelling of the story with props by a young student… http://www.schooltube.com/video/f2cabed46a05f3213d0f/Story-Can-Milo-the-Magic-Stone
Great teachers aid in discussing the book… http://www.tlpeace.org.au/stories/milo.htm
A CD game of the story is available here… http://www.amazon.com/Milo-Magical-Stones-PC-Mac/dp/B00005O6QH
Here is Marcus’s beautiful website and his other books… http://www.marcuspfister.ch/books%202.htm
I’m always pleased to be able to bring you some more special books that have come my way and be able to share them with you and join other great writers over at Susanna’s Blog, where there are literally hundreds of book reviews to view. So pop over and visit the lovely author, Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with books reviewed by many authors.
Very intriguing. I’d love to watch children choosing and reading the alternative versions.
🙂 I thought of you Joanna when I was reading this book. Glad you like it.
I always enjoy visiting your blog because you come up with such great titles. I like the idea of the reader choosing the ending. Is this a book from NZ?
I’m happy you enjoy coming here, Pat. This is a very unique book and sadly no this is a Swiss writer/illustrator. See this link about him… https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7518.Marcus_Pfister Glad you enjoyed my review.
Thanks for the link. He certainly has many wonderful series. I’ll have to check them out.
Milo seems like a popular name for kids books. I loved “Milo and the brain freeze” which I wrote about on my blog once. And the author made a comment which made my day. 🙂
Will have to look up this Milo book. 🙂
Oh that is cool, Clar. I must check out the ‘brain freeze’. Thanks.
Very clever. I’ve read some choose your ending books. I imagine that concept is really fun for kids…they get to be the boss of the ending! Cliff mice sound like a really fun way to talk about the environment!
Yes, great to have the kids interact with the book. I like the way he touches on things but doesn’t force it. The illustrations are lovely too.
What a unique book! Kids will have fun with this one! I’ll have to check it out! Thanks!!!
Glad you like it, hope you find it, Rhythm.
Really? Split pages? I have to take a look at this! Thanks.
Yes, split pages. Hope you are able to pick it up, Joanne. Nice to see ya!
My son just turned eleven, and he still needs reminding to turn off lights behind him. Love the premise of this book!
Arr, this might be just the book to have lying around. 😉 Nice to see you here.
Very interested to se how a split-ending book is handled – thanks for posting, Diane.
Yes! It would be interesting to see it in a classroom. Your welcome Julie!
Sound interesting. 🙂 I like the idea of it. 🙂
Glad you like it Erik. Yes it is unique and interesting.
This looks like an interesting book for kids – and what a novel concept: a choose-your-own-environmental-ending. I definitely need to look for it.
Indeed a novel concept. Hope you find it.