In my opinion Whalewort is most suitable for ages three to six. The story lends itself to being told to a child before bed, with a deliberate sopheric ending intended to help a child fall asleep. I would say that after around the age of six, children either prefer a longer chapter book to be read to them or are old enough to read by themselves. Therefore, as a general rule, I think younger children would enjoy this book the most. Nevertheless, there are intentional jokes contained that would only be fully understood by an older child who would need to comprehend the context of God being an ordinary man and some of the language such as ‘cold callers’ and ‘proceeded’ would need further explanation for early learners to understand. I hope that the book is therefore appealing to children who return to the book in later years. I also hope some of the ideas and humour of the book will appeal to the parent reading the book to their child. For instance, Jesus over the mantlepiece might only be noticed by the parent initially.
A tricky one to pinpoint with confidence, but I guess that’s the paradox!