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Kitty the Toon – A story about Gateshead Kittiwakes

I am always on the look out for good wildlife-based stories to use in the classroom , so I was delighted to receive this book recently, titled,  ‘Kitty the Toon’,  written by John Miles and illustrated by Barry Robson. 

Kitty the toon

This lovely book tells the story of the world’s first inland colony of Kittiwakes which chose to nest on the Premier Hotel in Gateshead! 


Following their story from their arrival, through courtship, nesting and raising a family, this beautifully illustrated book teaches the reader all about the kittiwake and how this colony chose to use Newcastle as their breeding ground. Wonderful synergies between the young kittiwake’s black and white plumage and the Newcastle United football team strip, adds to the appeal of this book… particularly to those who live in the area!


I would definitely use this book in school, as I could pull out lots of learning opportunities, including life cycles and  adaptation as well as introducing children to a bird they are unlikely to be familiar with.

I was pleased to hear that there are a couple more books planned to the future, focusing on different bird species; Screamer the swift, Mavis the song thrush, Horus the peregrine and Tony the tawny owl.  Stories are a great way to introduce children to the natural world and these will be on my classroom book shelf!

Kitty the Toon is now available on Amazon… if you have a young naturalist in your family, it might be just what you are looking for!


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