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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)
Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows
by Rose Lagercrantz
Age Range: 6-8
Dani is staying with her grandparents while her father is away in Italy visiting his family. When Dani remembers it’s Ella’s birthday she needs to thinks of the world’s best gift for the world’s best friend. Ella no longer lives in the same town as Dani decides that she will be the surprise birthday present! But it seems no one has the time to take her to see Ella. Then Grandma asks: “Do you think you’d dare go there on your own?”
This is a new challenge for Dani as she sets off on her big adventure full of excitement in anticipation of surprising her friend. However, everything doesn’t quite go according to plan. Lost, alone and frightened when Ella’s mum fails to turn up at Northbrook station to meet her, Dani wonders what she should do now. She only has three telephone numbers in her mobile phone – her dad’s, her grandma’s and Sadie’s, who she is not supposed to call although she doesn’t know why. Sadie was her dad’s girlfriend but she now lives in Northbrook. There was only one person Dani could ring and her dad wasn’t going to like it.
Where Dani Goes, Happy Follows is the sixth stand-alone story in the acclaimed chapter book series from popular Swedish author Rose Lagercrantz and illustrator Eva Eriksson. As with all the previous titles Lagercrantz's text sensitively navigates Dani’s emotions, whether it’s towards her vulnerability when finding herself alone on the station, being bullied by two older boys or her confusion as to why Sadie and her Dad no longer communicate and her bitter disappointment over not seeing her friend Ella. The simple, expressive pen and ink illustrations by Eva Eriksson convey emotion as well as bringing a gentle humour to the story.
Other titles reviewed on the website include: My Happy Life (2012), My Heart is Laughing (2014) and When I am Happiest (2015) and Life According to Dani (2016) and See You When I See You (2017).