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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)
Stories for Summer
by Alf PrÝysen
Age Range: 6-8
What happens when a little kid goat decides to show the other animals that he can count to ten? Does the ladybird make Betsyís wishes come true? Find out and read about Mrs Midge and her daughters singing for Mr Learn-a Ėlot, see if Pussypuss finds a home and enjoy some of Mrs. Pepperpotís outdoor adventures in Alf PrÝysenís Stories for Summer story collection.
In the twin book to Stories for Christmas, PrÝysen tells short, simple tales embracing nature and the outdoors. In particular, this book is great for animal lovers and PrÝysenís quirky imaginings come up with unusual plots and encourage children to look at life from different angle. The whine of midges and gnats becomes a lovely singing recital, cats make important career choices and Mrs Pepperpot - PrÝysenís most famous character- learns to swim in a most unusual way!
These stories are the perfect length and use an ideal vocabulary for younger readers as they are short and tell charming, simple tales in very clear prose. The illustrations also help, as the lush, colour paintings really bring the stories to life and seem to really urge you to get outside and enjoy nature. Some of the stories appear in other books by PrÝysen, often as filler chapters in Mrs Pepperpot books, and this collection perhaps makes PrÝysen accessible for an audience that is still slightly too young for Mrs. Pepperpot by focusing on the shorter, easier stories that are secondary in Pepperpot books. Mrs Pepperpot herself also makes some amusing appearances, and these slightly longer, more involved plots stand as well alone as they do when read as chapters in Pepperpot collections.
Stories for Summer is a good, fun, summery read for children, showing us the very best of the outdoors. With abundant, varied animals and all sorts of summery adventures to read about, there is something for everyone in this well put together collection.
Abby Phillips (2016)