Top critical review
One person found this helpful
Started out okay
on 4 April 2014
I felt I should give this a go, as it's on the lists of 100 top children's books, but I see now why I never read it before.
This is no traditional fairlytale. The author (who chose not to let the public in on his identity) is clearly a very keen naturalist, and pitches gnomes somewhere between the animal kingdom and humans.
He's not consistent, though. At first the gnomes have quite human characteristics; they live in a cosy home in a hollow tree trunk, cook their food on a fire, and have tools and clothes, just like humans. They cook little cakes, and kipper minnows.
Not far into the story, though, the gnome who is left on his won goes looking for his 2 bros. On the way he hacks a steak off a perch he's caught and eats it raw, and eats a raw bird's egg.
It all begins to get a bit nauseating, added to which the author seems to hate humans; he refers to the beauty of the dawn chorus, which we all mis because we're sleeping in our beds 'like pigs.'
At this point I thought 'enough,' and abandoned it.