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Shobhana Bhattacharji

THE OPPOSITE OF CHOCOLATE; BOY 2 GIRL; ON THE SEAS OF TROY; THE GIFT BOAT; THE GREENAGE SUMMER; THE PEACOCK SPRING; FINDING CASSIE CRAZY; MOUSE ATTACK!; MY MUM'S FROM PLANET PLUTO; 101 FOLKTALES FROM INDIA; MUDDLE EARTH; WHEN KAMBIA ELAINE FLEW IN FROM NEPTUNE
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2014

VOLUME XXVIII NUMBER 11 November 2004

The Opposite of Chocolate  By Julie Bertagna  Young Picador, Pan Macmillan, London, 2003, pp.183, UK£9.99,  CDN $19.99 Boy 2 Girl  By Terence Blacker Macmillan Children’s Books, London, 2004, pp.275, UK £9.99,  CDN $19.99 On the Seas of Troy   By Caroline B.Cooney  The Gift Boat  By Peter Dickinson. Illustrated by Ian Andrew  Macmillan Children’s Books, London, 2002 & 2004, pp.250 & 138,  £ 4.99 & £9.99 The Greengage Summer  By Rumer Godden  Young Picador, Pan Macmillan, London, 1958, rpt 2004, pp.235,  UK £5.99, CDN $12.99 The Peacock Spring  Young Picador, Pan Macmillan, London, 1975, rpt. 2004, pp.323,  UK £5.99, CDN $12.99 Finding Cassie Crazy  By Jaclyn Moriarty  Young Picador, Pan Macmillan, London, 2003, pp.371, UK£5.99 Mouse Attack!  By Manjula Padma  Macmillan Children’s Books, London, 2003, pp.183, UK £9.99,  CDN $19.99 My Mum’s from Planet Pluto  By Gwyneth Rees  Macmillan Children’s Books, London, 2004, pp.172, UK £8.99,  CDN $18.99 101 Folktales from India By Eunice de Souza. Illustrations by Sujata Singh  Puffin Books, Penguin, New Delhi, 2004, pp.287, Rs. 350.00 Muddle Earth  By Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell  Macmillan Children’s Books, London, 2003, pp.447, UK £5.99,  CDN $12.99 When Kambia Elaine Flew in from Neptune  By Lori Aurelia Williams  Young Picador, Pan Macmillan, London, 2004, pp.248, UK £4.99   But books like that cost a fortune!’ cried Madame Corbet. ‘Not a fortune, just a bit,’ said Eliot. ‘But for a child!’ ‘This child needs it.’ (The Greengage Summer) “It is absolutely wonderful writing for the young because it is a comparatively small field and you can do any darn thing you want in it. There is room. There are so many voices to use, so many worlds to explore,” says Peter Dickinson.1  He’s right. Consider the intellectual spaciousness'  of these twelve books. Folk tales, fantasy, teenagers, pre-teens, magic, vanishing parents, mice, Trojan heroes; set in Australia, India, France, Greece, Scotland, England. All the stories—the emphasis is on story, I am happy to say—describe the transition from a lower level of maturity to a higher one, from being less experienced to becoming more so, with a pleasant understanding of the difficult journey.    I’ve had to review quite old publications for earlier November TBRs, but eleven of these were published in 2003 and 2004, one in 2002, which may well reflect the boom in publishing, especially in children’s books. Philip Pullman noticed two years ago that magazines and newspapers had begun to give more space to reviewing children’s books. (TBR can take a bow for its long established November Children’s Special issues.) In Britain, a local library tried new ways of attracting ...


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