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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)
Frog Castle (The)
by Jostein Gaarder
Age Range: 9-11
Gregory Peggory is not sure how it all began, but one night he finds himself
outside and alone in the frozen snow. Down by the Newt Pond he meets Umpin,
a boggart who transports him from the cold winterís night to a hot summerís
day. After devouring pancakes and strawberry jam, Gregory Peggory
reluctantly agrees to kiss a frog that needs to be turned back into a prince.
He is taken to the Frog Castle and here he has to learn to be brave as he
encounters the Newts who guard the castle, the wicked lord chamberlain, the bold
and scary queen and the kind old king whose heart has been stolen. This is a
magical story of adventure where dreams and reality are all mixed up together
and nothing is what it seems.
Jostein Gaarder is a wonderful storyteller whose special gift is to open childrenís eyes to the great mysteries of life. As with all his stories, there is a subtext, this time the gentle exploration of a child learning to come to terms with his grandfatherís death.
(Outside In: Childrenís Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)