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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)
Bambert's Book of Missing Stories
by Reinhardt Jung
Age Range: 9-11
In a small Austrian town, Bambert lives alone in an attic above his tenant Mr.
Bloom’s grocery shop. Because he is disabled, Bambert has difficulty in getting
out into the world, but by night he sits at his window and dreams up stories
which he writes into his Book of Wishes. Bambert has completed ten stories for
his book and one day decides the stories should go and seek their own settings.
Parcelling up each one, and sending it out into the world attached to a Japanese
hot-air balloon, Bambert also includes an eleventh story, consisting only of four
blank sheets of paper, for the recipient to invent.
This book is something quite exceptional. It appears at first to be a set of fairy tales, yet each story has a pertinence to the life of its author, and all are set within the encompassing relationship between Bambert and Bloom. This produces a magical book of many layers, which would delight listeners from eight to eighty plus, and provide endless opportunities for classroom use.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)