Review Blog

Jul 17 2009

A finder's magic by Philipa Pearce

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Walker Books, 2008. ISBN 9781406309225
(Age 7-12) Highly recommended. Reminiscent of Philip Pullman's The Scarecrow and the Servant, this beautifully crafted novel is a joy to read. Till's dog Bess is missing and Till is shattered. He meets a strange man who calls himself Finder who offers to help find Bess. Finder gently teaches Till to believe in himself and to ask questions of a mole, a heron, a cat who talks in riddles and the two old ladies, Miss Mousy and Miss Gammer. It's a mystery with Finder subtlety suggesting ways to look for Bess. It is written by Philippa Pearce for her grandsons and illustrated by Helen Craig, the boys' other grandmother, who painted and sketched the delicate pictures which enhance the already evocative text. Till's full name is an anagram of the grandsons' names. This is a story to be shared with a child, so together the finer points of language and illustration, can be talked through and enjoyed. The paper is smooth with a silky touch and the embossed cover makes this a special and delightful reading experience.
Sue Nosworthy

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