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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)
My Book of Twenty Two Stories for Children
by Mircea Sintimbreanu
Age Range: 6-8
This is a delightful collection of twenty two short stories from Romania, originally written by Mircea Sintimbreanu and retold by Lornie Leete-Hodge. Here are stories, about animals and children to suit every taste: The Troubled Snail, find a snail who wants to have a number plate for his house because the postman is not able to deliver his letters; In The Invitation, the ants decide to invite the elephant family to their new house going to a lot of trouble to prepare their home putting out a red carpet to welcome them but it is only when the elephants arrive that the silly ants realise the big mammals will not able to enter their tiny dwelling! An Autumn Tale encounters Joanna, a rather forgetful girl, who never remembers where she leaves things. Thankfully there is a friendly cricket nearby ready to help her by making chirr… chirr… sounds near the lost object and enabling her to find them! These are only three examples of the stories but there are nineteen other tales waiting to be enjoyed.
Mircea Sintembreanu (1926-1999) was director of the publishing house Albatros and one of the leading writers of children’s literature in Romania. Most of the short tales are accompanied by colourful illustrations by Gheorghe Marinescu that charmingly evoke a past childhood. As the stories are predominantly two to three pages long they lend themselves beautifully for bedtime reading or reading aloud.