Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.
"Crammed with all sorts of reading, the narrow shelves rose halfway up the walls; their tops piled with untidy layers that almost touched the ceiling. The heaps on the floor had to be climbed over, columns of books flanked the window, toppling at a touch."
Comprised of twenty-seven stories, The Little Bookroom is a collection of original fairy tales that pool human experience and emotion allowing readers to better value their lives. Many of the stories have a moral dimension that sometimes feels a little anachronistic when compared with current writing for children and young people, these are always reached, however, with a lightness of touch.
Gentle humour pervades many of the tales. Eleanor Farjeon's characters range from simple and unaffected farm-hands through to cultivated roaylty. There's a touching sense of affection and character in the people that explore what it is to love, to find union with the surroundings and people around us and to be kind and good through these tales and fables. The language of the stories is lyrical and rings and sings with cadence bringing each story vividly to life.
On World Book Night, one of the stories which stands out the most is And I Dance Mine Own Child, where a book that contains a song brings together different generations of a family, a fitting comment on the power of the written word and fairy-tales in particular which are able to transcend the ages and the points in our own development and maturation, accentuating elements of how we think and feel, lending these a universal appeal. This quality was one acknowledged by Farjeon herself in the author's note where she recognises the importance of books in her childhood and remembers the little bookroom which became the title for the collection.