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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)
Clementine Loves Red
by Krystyna Boglar
Age Range: 6-8
One Saturday in August towards the end of the summer holidays Mark and his siblings, Annie and Pudding (real name Derek, although no one calls him this) are rather bored in the Holiday Hamlet on the edge of the forest where they are staying.
While on their way to visit the pond where the Frog King lives in the wood they discover a frightened young girl called Macadamia who is very distressed because she has lost someone called Clementine. This is their chance for a real adventure and they are quick to enlist the help of their friends Freddie and Eddie. Even though it’s dark and a terrible storm is brewing the children bravely set out on their search to find the mysterious Clementine.
There are also others on the trail too, including Sergeant Beeper, his son Teddy, Constable Podger, an artist Phospherous Twist, a journalist Ignatius Prosser and his spluttering red car. All are searching for the mysterious Clementine, but who is she?
Clementine Loves Red is a renowned Polish classic by Krystyna Boglar that has never been out of print for almost 50 years since it was first published in 1970. There is a slight slap-stick quality about it: full of missed opportunities, misunderstandings and things going wrong. Together with some larger-than-life characters with wonderfully descriptive names, (down to the excellent translation by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Zosia Krasodomska-Jones), the story is accompanied by child-like red pen-and-ink artwork by acclaimed Polish artist and cartoonist Bohdun Butenko which add to its charm. Clementine Loves Red is an amusing and enjoyable adventure story with a delightful twist at the end.