The Little Book Room | Eleanor Farjeon
Awards: Carnegie Medal
The Little Book Room goes beyond “once upon a time,” and delivers a smart, engaging collection of short stories that are sure to delight adults and children alike. Unlike a traditional novel, this collection of stories treks through long and short jaunt of the imagination of Eleanor Farjeon. Each story comes alive in simple yet evocative language that pulls the reading right inside Farjeon’s “little book room” of discoveries.
I found this collection of tales quite by accident as I began exploring the New York Review Children’s Collection, which re-publishes long forgotten gems of children’s literature. Since I am a fairy tale buff, when I picked up The Little Book Room, I knew I had to read it. I am more than a little fond of all things British, and these stories are dripping with good English story telling. There is a flavor to the Brits, found in Milne, Tolkien, and Lewis as well, that makes them so comfortable to read. Their writing is practical and matter-of-fact in style, which makes fantasy tales even more delightful when told from this perspective.
The Little Book Room is first recognizable as a collection of short stories for children. But to read each story is to jump inside a world that is full of magic, a kind of Neverland where a princess wants the moon, a a fish is given the whole world, and a little dress maker finds true love. Are they fairy tales? Are they mere stories of fancy? The truth is The Little Book Room immerses readers in the familiar sense of imagination that is the magic of childhood. Time spent in The Little Book Room is a delight. Not many people know who Eleanor Fajeon is. The few who do are lucky and they know it too.
ps. a few other titles by Eleanor Farjeon: Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard, Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field, and The Tale of Tom Tiddler. Read more about Eleanor Farjeon here.