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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)
Arthur and the Yeti
by Johanne Mercier
Age Range: 6-8
Arthur, the narrator of the story is seven years old and he is staying at his grandparentís house. One Saturday night there is a terrible commotion. Their neighbour Mrs Potter gets a bit of a fright when she hears strange noises in her garden and sees two, big, black eyes staring at her in the dark. Once again the expertise of cousin Eugene is called upon. The only problem is that his solution has a disastrous result and doesnít solve the mystery much to Mrs Potterís chagrin. News travels fast and it is not long before everyone has heard about the Yeti of Picket Lane!
The ĎArthurí stories by French Canadian author Johanne Mercier are full of quirky characters and understated humour. Everything is seen through Arthurís eyes which will appeal directly to young readers. The language is easily accessible to children but contains a degree of irony that will be enjoyed by adults too, and this is due in no small part to an excellent translation by award-winning translator Daniel Hahn. The amusing black and white illustrations by Clare Elsom help to accentuate the wit of the text.
Although each story in the series is separate many of the themes follow on to the next book so it is a good idea to start with book one - Arthur and the Mystery of the Egg. Other titles in the series are: Arthur and the Earthworms, and Arthur and Guard Dog.
This series of stories about Arthur are sure to become a firm favourite with any seven-year-old.