This is one of those books you could read to a child who's about the same sort of age as, or older than, my nearly seven-year-old son and have them absolutely engrossed at bed time.
I saw the trailer for the Life of Pi at the cinema just before Christmas last year and, I'll be honest, whilst it looked good, I had no burning desire to see it. I didn't go and see it and I didn't feel I'd missed out UNTIL I watched it on a long haul flight recently. OH. MY. GOODNESS!! As a movie and a story, it is heartachingly beautiful and utterly mesmerising - even on a tiny back-of-the-seat airplane screen - so much so that I watched it twice, outbound and inbound!
So I was waxing lyrical about the movie whilst out for dinner with friends the other day, one of our number had read the book and said it was definitely worth reading. Now I'm not usually one for reading a book after its movie adaptation, but I felt utterly compelled to buy it. So I did and I'm very glad.
If you don't know anything about the story, here's a quick synopsis (without spoiling the end for you): a young Indian boy, Pi, is stuck in the middle of the Pacific ocean after a shipwreck, on a lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger (Richard Parker. Seriously, that's the name of the tiger!) for company. The story is about what happens to them and what Pi learns from the tiger.
It sounds odd but, believe me, it's amazing! And, of course, you don't have to buy the Life of Pi to read to your child(ren), you can just do what I did and buy it for yourself.