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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Children of Hat Cottage (The)
by Elsa Beskow
Age Range: Under_5
On a small island in the middle of a lake lives a woman and her three children. They live in a cottage that is shaped like a hat. One day the woman needs to go to the mainland to buy some yarn to make her children some new clothes. She tells them she will make them some honey cakes if they promise to be good. The children try very hard to be helpful by sweeping the chimney and washing their clothes in the lake but it is not long before their good intentions turn into mayhem. As disaster strikes they wonder what will happen when their mother returns home.
German author and illustrator Elsa Beskow was regarded at the Beatrix Potter of Scandinavia because she the first picture book creator to convey the idea of childhood. Written in 1930 this charming story with its use of soft-toned watercolours is about good intentions and the kindness of others.