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Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep Paperback – 22 Apr 2008
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Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep tells the tale of a little girl with a special talent -- she can outskip the fairies on Mount Kaburn--and is rewarded with a gift of rare and lasting value.
First published in 1937, this charming tale is reproduced in this stunning little book with classic illustrations, in a high-quality edition that makes it an ideal gift for young readers who enjoy magical stories that are perfect for sharing. (Age 7 and over) --Susan Harrison --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"The poetic, incisive prose is well-matched by the featherlight line and muted pallette of the pictures. A book worth treasuring." TES Primary "By that most perfect of storytellers, Eleanor Farjeon. Charlotte Voake... has to be half fairy herself to produce such exquisitely delicate pictures." The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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A fairy tale, this is probably going to be picked up more by girls (skipping, fairies), but really, I think boys might enjoy this one too. Elsie is so keen to try skipping like the older children that she makes her own rope - and discovers she's a natural at it. Her brilliance catches the attention of the fairies, who test her skills and are so impressed that they teach her unearthly tricks. Back in the real world, Elei begins to grow up, and puts away her childhood toys... It is many years later when her little village's land is in danger from a greedy Lord that Elsie has a chance to shine.
This is a perfect little bedtime tale (over one or two nights), magical and wistful, with a heroine children will enjoy - a girl and an old woman who defies the rich folk. It isn't too challenging a read for young children to follow, though readers themselves will need to be capable enough (aged around 8).
The Voake illustrations complement it perfectly, a combination of nostalgic and simple used watercolour drawings. The cover (and title) will probably put off most male readers (flowers, a girl skipping), but I would love to see boys listening to this - it would be great for classroom reading in primary schools.
Though this seemed rather quaint to me, the skipping did take my back to my own childhood, and I did feel cheered by the triumphant ending and Elsie's legacy. My son is 5 and I think I'll be able to read this to him before long, and I'm fairly sure he'll enjoy it.
A lovely edition (mine is the little hardback) that will be a treasured gift.
With thanks to Walker Books for the sample copy, sent for review purposes.
I was again delighted to discover that this new book has been published, (and will be buying it for my goddaughter.) I hope that the illustrations do justice to the little flint village itself, a real place, still unspoilt, a couple of miles from Glyndebourne.
For those who enjoy this book, particularly the "child who is Sussex born" I recommend that you seek out the two Martin Pippin books, - "in the Daisy Field" and "in the Apple Orchard." Martin Pippin tells stories to six little girls in the first, and their six mothers in the other, all relating to real places in Sussex. Another favourite was the one about the seven sisters and their adopted nephew, the dirty little chimney sweep who wanted to be the tallest man in the world like his white aunties. I am now the proud possessor of charming old hardback editions, since my old Puffin book fell to pieces long ago.
It tells the story of a little girl who loves skipping and skips better than anyone else - but it tells so much more.
In it there is the sense of magic and wonder, the fight of right against wrong, the weak but courageous triumphing over the powerful bullying, a picture of the English country life and history, the importance of rights of way and a conviction that "the good that men do lives after them". The story-telling has a rambling nature that reminds me of the endless yarns my loquatious daughter used to spin (minus the plot) when she was little. There is also a pleasure in the savouring of unusual words (like the "old skipping rhyme" in the story) that repeat and echo through the pages. Oh, and something in it that almost makes you want to cry!
I immensely enjoyed reading this to children and children are enchanted by it.
A very special book.
As an old lady, Elsie ends up saving the day for the fairies and the local children who skip on Mount Caburn by agreeing with the wicked landowner that he will not build a factory there so long as someone can keep up a continuous skip on Mount Caburn. Mount Caburn is still factory free, so Elsie must still be skipping there.....
My 5 year old daughter loves this book so much that I have to read it to her while she skips herself.
It is beautifully illustrated and is certainly an heirloom book. We think it is the most charming and unusual childrens' book we have read in ages.
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