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Iggitha (Torquay, Devon, UK)

Page: 1
by Trevor Dudley-Smith
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely funny old story, 25 Sep 2007
This review is from: INTO THE HAPPY GLADE (Hardcover)
'Into the Happy Glade' and its sequel, 'By a Silver Stream', tell the story of a group of woodland animals who are forced from their original homes by a housing development, but find a much better life in their new home, right in the heart of a woods in the English countryside. It sounds awfully cutesy, but somehow avoids sappiness purely by the style in which it is written. Trevor Dudley-Smith is a pseudonym of Elleston Trevor who is better known for fairly hard-hitting sci-fi, but who did write, as Elleston Trevor, another series of animal-books beginning with 'Deep Wood'. In my opinion, the Trevor Dudley-Smith offering is far superior.
The animals involved - a selection of woodland birds, squirrels, mice, rabbits, a hedgehog, and later a frog and water-rat, are anthropomorphised, with distinct personalities, but these are so cleverly done that it never seems contrived. The situations are hilarious and touching. We follow them as they construct an air-basket in which to carry the smaller animals over the hills to their new home, and watch as they build new homes, discover windows, plumbing, canoing, pipe-smoking and the use of string as a furnishing material.
The characterisations are wonderful: a lady magpie who steals what they need from humans in full knowledge of what she is doing, and what humans did to them; a traditionally wise owl; a nervous and food-loving hedgehog; an extremely laid-back frog, and a pair of excitable and vigorous young mice. There is much reference to 'furry little sitty-downs' and the rumbling of one's 'inner-hedgehog', and the descriptions of mid-winter festivals, the joys of bathing for the first time after a hard move, and the technicalities of gathering food are beautifully handled. Their happiness and their difficulties are all well portrayed and you never get the feeling that this is purely a children's book.
It is old-fashioned and light-hearted and really deserves to be up in the classics next to 'The Wind in the Willows'. Well worth a read one afternoon.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2012 10:58 PM BST

Thud!: A Discworld Novel
Thud!: A Discworld Novel
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All roads lead to my cow, 9 Dec 2006
I've recently been carefully working my way chronologically through the discworld books, but I got a short loan of this one and couldn't pass it up, despite being nowhere near its turn. It is very different to the earliest books, perhaps lacking rather a lot of their laugh-after-laugh humour, but it wins out on one point. The whole book was justified for me by the staggeringly re-readable account of a man literally breaking the laws of the universe in order to read to his son at the appointed time. If the rest of the book were only a scene-setter for this, it would be worth it. Walking around for days after finishing it telling all and sundry that "It goes hrrugh, it is a hippopotamus" is surely a sign that a book is worth reading!

Page: 1