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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)
Mrs Pepperpot Again
by Alf Proysen
Age Range: 9-11
Mrs Pepperpot has a special talent, she can shrink! But it always happens at the most inconvenient times… so Mrs Pepperpot embarks on some fun but hair raising adventures! What will Mrs Pepperpot find when she goes to meet the mice in the cellar? What happens when she shrinks to the size of a doll when there’s a baby on the loose? What surprise awaits Mrs Pepperpot when her cat decides to take her on an adventure?
These charming tales take the every day and make it magical. Alf Proysen’s ingenuity is wonderful, and some of the scenarios that Mrs Pepperpot ends up in are very clever and imaginative. The journey Mrs Pepperpot takes with her cat, for example, shows how differently we experience the world to animals (Mrs Pepperpot will never look at next door’s dog in quite the same way again), and her meeting with the mice in her kitchen is really charming, as household objects, sounds and smells take on whole new meanings and use.
Proysen writes very simple prose that young children should follow easily and divides Mrs Pepperpot Again into short separate episodes; each chapter is a different scenario. Although this is not a sizeable book, the short tales make good, readable sized chunks. Only two-thirds of the book is Mrs Pepperpot related, as there are some miscellaneous short tales too near the end. These are also a good read, the story about the Big Toe who journeys through a hole in the sock is especially clever, but the Gapy Gob the Ogre stories seem aimed at a younger age group. Mrs Pepperpot is definitely the star. Essentially, Mrs Pepperpot Again is a wonderful read, full of inventiveness and fun, and a book that children will return to and enjoy again.
Abby Phillips (2010)