Karishma's Reviews > The Iron Man: A Children's Story in Five Nights

The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
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Sep 18, 11


I would consider the ‘The Iron Man’ by Ted Hughes as an ideal book for a range of different aged children in key stage 2. It presents good cross curricular opportunities as well as good examples of various uses of language.

The book is based around a fictional character labelled as the ‘Iron Man’ who is continually described throughout the book. From the first few paragraphs the author has already prompt readers to start thinking about the iron man by the use of rhetorical questions such as ‘Where had he come from’ and ‘How was he made?’ These questions can lead onto class discussions, allowing children to use their imagination and even predict what may happen further on in the book. These questions also allow children to think about the Iron Man's past.

Ted Hughes uses a range of descriptive language and similes making it a pleasant read that is ideal for a classroom. With reference to using this book in the classroom for educational purposes, the Iron Man is a fine example of teaching children the use and importance of adjectives, similes and metaphors when writing. The Iron Man is described to have a ‘head shaped like a dustbin’ and ‘eyes like headlamps’. These are perfect examples of ways to encourage children to be creative when thinking about what the author is trying to portray and for their own writing skills.

The book continues with the Iron Man being discovered and buried alive by many farmers as a result of eating their metal equipment. However soon after breaking out of his underground prison the farmers negotiate a metal scrap yard for him to find his food. Towards the end of the book he defeats a dragon who comes to Earth with the intention to eat anything living. Initially we are introduced to the Iron Man with little to no knowledge about him; however towards the end we see his friendly and harmless nature. Ted Hughes has slowly unfolded characteristics and physical features of the Iron Man throughout the book making it more stimulating and fascinating to the reader.

The book is separated into five chapters, each with a clear cliff hanger and opportunity for class discussions. These five short chapters make it easier to follow the book, each having its own crucial event. The few black and white illustrations in the book also add to the mystery of the iron man. They do not give away too much about the story but aid readers to visualise the different scenes.

I would recommend this book to children in key stage 2, with great emphasis on it perfectly modelling the different uses of language shown in highly skilled creative writing.


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