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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)
Bicycling to the Moon
by Timo Parvela
Age Range: 6-8
Purdy the cat and Barker the dog live together in a sky-blue house at the top of a hill. Barker is the sensible one, thoughtful and faithful. He loves to potter in his garden, tend his vegetable patch and keep the home together, while Purdy can often be selfish, lazy, and impulsive, is always dreaming and has delusions of grandeur.
When Purdy decides he’s a great singer and enters the local talent contest, of which Barker is the judge, he just assumes that he will win but unfortunately his ‘yowl’ scares away half the audience. Barker has to judge the competition fairly and risk upsetting his friend. When Barker’s prize tomato goes missing, Purdy is in the frame. His thoughtlessness causes a great tomato fight, but all is not lost as they end up making delicious tomato sauce for dinner. Through all the adventures, mishaps and disagreements, Barker and Purdy remain inseparable and the best of friends.
Bicycling to the Moon is a heart-warming series of 20 short stories from one of Finland's award-winning authors, Timo Parvela, translated by Ruth Urbom. His best-selling books have sold worldwide and have been adapted for film, TV and theatre. A TV show about the two characters of Purdy and Barker in Finland.
With straightforward prose and wry wit, together with the clearly defined characters of Barker and Purdy, as well as a delightful supporting cast – Henny Cluckington, Winky Pig, Daisy Butterfield, Martha Woolaston, Connie Quackstrom and Cloppity Hay, these charming stories are a delight to read. Each story works as an individual tale, although they do follow the seasons which helps to add depth to the two main characters as the reader learns more about them as they progress through the book. Themes such as friendship, selfishness, anger, helping others, big dreams and having fun are all covered. Finnish artist Virpi Talvitie’s comical full-colour illustrations further enhance the richness of these engaging tales.