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Amazon Customer "Reads Carnegie Medalists For Fun" (Geneva, Switzerland)

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The Little Grey Men: A Story for the Young in Heart
The Little Grey Men: A Story for the Young in Heart
by B.B.
Edition: Paperback

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A four-season adventure through the Warwickshire countryside, 8 Sept. 2007
The Little Grey Men tells the tale of three gnome brothers who left their tree house in search of a more adventurous brother who left two years before. Dodder, Baldmoney and Sneezewort travelled up and down the Folly river gleaning adventures as if they were escaping lions in the African veldt or fighting malnutrition while marooned on a desert island, a la Robinson Crusoe. Will they ever find Cloudberry?

BB paints the scenery of the Warwickshire countryside in such detail that one feels his love of this tiny patch of the world so powerfully. He ascribes this love to the gnomes, "being halfway between animals and our unhappy selves, they appreciated the world far more than a great many mortals. To them the whole year was lovely, ... and not an hour passed by but they found something to admire and relish."

As in every good quest, the gnomes make new friends, battle formidable enemies (yes! more than one!), survive natural catastrophes and finally come home to a roaring fire and a good Elderberry wine.

It is a good tale to follow as you walk along the banks of an English river, but it is just as good in the bedroom of your high-rise apartment.

The Family from One End Street: And Some of Their Adventures (Puffin Modern Classics)
The Family from One End Street: And Some of Their Adventures (Puffin Modern Classics)
by Eve Garnett
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ten stories shine like pearls on a strand., 2 Sept. 2007
The ten stories of "The Family from One End Street" (1937) shine like pearls on a strand. Each one, at its core, has the roughness of the simple life to which Eve Garnett adds layers of detail, humor, adventure and joy. Julia Eccleshare says in her introduction (Puffin Modern Classics, 2004) that the author "wanted to give ordinary children from the poorer areas of London some stories which reflected their own way of life." Perhaps, the children did see their own lives reflected in the luster of these lovingly crafted stories.

The Christenings - The family is introduced. Mrs. Rosie Ruggles is a Washerwoman who runs the "Ideal Laundry." Her husband is Mr. Josiah "Jo" Ruggles, a Dustman. Their children, by age, are Lily Rose, Kate, the twins James and John, Jo, Peg and William.

Lily Rose and the Green Silk Petticoat - Lily Rose's good deed is surprising her mother by ironing the customers' wash. But, alas, she presses a too-hot iron on an artificial dress silk and it becomes a doll's petticoat. Will Mrs. Beaseley, customer, be very cross?

Kate is Eleven-Plus - and Minus! - Kate is the brain in the family and she wins a scholarship for Otwell Central School. She receives school clothes from an unexpected source, gets invited to a picnic at the beach and loses her school hat. Will she start the year with her looking very different from everyone at school?

The Gang of the Black Hand - James (Jim) longs to see the world and have adventures like his comic book heroes. His adventures begin in an old lime kiln towards the river, but where will it end?

The Adventure of the Parked Car - John looks for adventure at a parking lot and comes home in the evening with a box of eggs, some cakes and an amazing scout knife! Will this impress the Gang of the Black Hand?

The Baby Show - William, the Ruggles know, is the best baby in Otwell. But will the Judges at the Otwell Feat agree?

Adventure in a Cinema - Jo Jr. is a film buff, when it comes to Mickey Mouse. For the first time, the Majestic Cinema will be showing colored pictures but Jo doesn't have four pence for entrance. Will he have to wait another couple of weeks to earn money and see the next one?

What Mr. Ruggles Found - Mr. Ruggles, dustman, finds a huge sum of money in the garbage. It's more than enough for his family's long-dreamed-of trip to London for a holiday. Should he present it to the police and if he does, will he get a reward?

Cart Horse Parade - The Ruggles visit Mr. Ruggles brother and get a ride on the cart of his prize-winning horse. The children raise a ruckus at the park, ending with an upset boat and Peg being caught by a policeman.

The Perfect Day - The Ruggles family end the perfect day at a Posh Tea Shop for posh icecream sundaes and a live orchestra.

The Little White Horse
The Little White Horse
by Elizabeth Goudge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

4 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rather cloying but entertaining if you still believe in unicorns., 25 Aug. 2007
This review is from: The Little White Horse (Paperback)
The Little White Horse is about Maria Merryweather, the newest Moon Princess at Moonacre Manor, and her quest to bring perfect happiness to the village of Silverydew by saving it from the wicked, wicked ways of the Men from the Dark Woods. Along the way she reunites estranged lovers, returns a monastery to the Lord and discovers her One True Love - all fresh from orphanhood at the age of 13, and only with the help of pluck, curiosity, magical animals, a host of early-risers and the reader's hyperactive suspension of disbelief.

Perhaps in 1946 (or in 1842, the setting of the story) poachers and cattle rustlers were thwarted by sashaying into their castle, partaking of their dinner of fish and stolen beef and then suddenly piping, "You should trade with the village people." These days we know that it takes a gun and a call to the sheriff.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 17, 2008 6:14 PM GMT

The Borrowers (Puffin Modern Classics)
The Borrowers (Puffin Modern Classics)
by Judith Elkin
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What would they "borrow" from your home?, 18 Aug. 2007
Have you ever pondered where your hairclips, bobby pins and thimbles have gotten to? Do you wonder why small quantities of your father's tobacco and Madeira seem to smoke themselves or evaporate? Did your wooden knight ever ride off the chessboard never to be seen again?

You don't even know what I'm talking about, do you? OK, so have you ever lost your iPod Nano? Maybe the Borrowers needed a stereo for their home entertainment system. The same thing happened to your Nintendo Gameboy.

Mary Norton's "The Borrowers" published in 1952 is about a race of little people living beside a rain pipe, over the mantel, behind the harpsichord and in all the nooks and crannies of the house. These little people "borrow" from us, the big people. They use blotting paper for their carpets, a single onion ring for their cooking and postage stamps for wall portraits.

In the book, Pod, Homily and Arriety are the last Borrowers left in Aunt Sophy's house. They lived in the floorboards under the kitchen ad entered and exited their home from a hole behind the grandfather clock. They weren't rich but they had everything they needed - potatoes for their supper, a gas pipe leak for their cooking, a foie gras dish for their bath. Pod, the father, ventures into the house every now and then for supplies.

This is the story of how Arriety, after being allowed to go borrowing with her father, befriended a nine-year old boy who was a visitor in the house. Then their lives change forever: They discover news about their Borrower relatives, gain new riches and then lose everything they own.

This is a good story to read in a big house on a rainy afternoon. Perhaps you can explore the house for little corners where a Borrower may be living. Or you can guess which of the little things lying around the house are useful for them.

Even if you live in an apartment in the big city with the most modern furniture and high tech gadgets, it would still be fun to imagine what a Borrower family would be using these days. What would a Borrower your age be playing with? What would they use for furniture? Where would they be living?

I bought a package of IKEA tealight candles once and some of them have disappeared. Perhaps a family of Borrowers illuminate their cozy little home with them. Well, they can buy their own iPhone if they need to surf the internet; I'm not letting mine out of my sight.

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