Friday, June 11, 2010

12th June Johanna Spyri (1827 - 1901) Helen Lester (1936)

Johanna Spyri's story of Heidi, a five year old orphaned girl who goes to live with her grumpy grandfather in the Swiss alps was a world-wide success story towards the end of the 19th century. It is the most popular piece of Swiss literature ever. It has been translated from German into fifty languages and made into a film many times. Children still like the story today and it is is now accessible to much younger children thanks to Usborne books. The library has a young reader version and a picture book version and both are borrowed frequently.

Helen Lester is probably best known for her series of books about the mischievous penguin Tacky. She used to be
teach primary school aged children and says on her website that she has taught children who behave like all of her characters, especially Tacky and Pinkerton. She seems to specialise in writing stories that deal with behaviour. Her characters are spirited, but endearing and made even more endearing by Lynn Munsinger's illustrations. If you look at Helen's website and move the cursor you will be affronted by these hyperactive characters and you will see this for yourself.

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