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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)
A Funny Sort of Minister
by Dominique Demers
Age Range: 6-8
The mysterious and eccentric Miss Charlotte appears again in this fourth title in the ‘Adventures of Miss Charlotte’, this time dabbling in politics. While at a train station on her way to meet her friends Marie and Leo to recover her pet rock Gertrude, Madame Charlotte accidentally picks up an identical bag instead of her own. Little does she realise that the bag she is now carrying belongs to the Prime Minister, Roger Rarejoy and it contains very important documents for his speech on children’s education that he is due to deliver that day.
Miss Charlotte decides to track him down and along the way befriends Gustave-Aurčle, the son of the Prime Minister, who at twelve years old spends all his days swotting up on his school subjects at his parent’s insistence. He’s never been impulsive but everything changes when he meets the odd tall, thin Miss Charlotte who wears weird clothes, a huge hat and has very unconventional methods.
Miss Charlotte rather likes the idea of becoming a minister. Having read the Prime Minister’s boring children’s policy she can’t help making a speech of her own on his behalf completely oblivious to the fact that she has attracted the attention of the media and secret service.
A Funny Sort of Minister by Canadian writer Dominique Demer, translated from French by Sander Berg, is another zany tale about Miss Charlotte, a kind of modern-day Mary Poppins who is always ready to answer a call for help. Enriched by the amusing pen-and-ink illustrations of Tony Ross, children are sure to love this latest title in the series. See the reviews of the previous titles: – The New Teacher, The Mysterious Librarian and The New Football Coach