We are on holiday but that hasn’t stopped me from blogging for you all (I could pretend that I did this in advance and scheduled it but I think we all know I’m not that organised.) Anyway this week’s book club features some classics! We lunched at the place Dickens stayed when he wrote Nicholas Nickelby today so I thought classics (of sorts, E’s choice is a modern classic) might be appropriate here.
Parent choice first:
I’m halfway through re-reading this at the moment. A publisher has just commissioned modern writers to re-write modern versions of each of Austen’s books and I’ve been sent a copy of Joanna Trollope’s Sense and Sensibility to review (see future blog at some point). But before I started reading that, I thought I’d read the original again. I’ve not read it for ages but have fond memories of it, mainly through the film version but also from reading it years ago. Reading it now, and not as a teenager who thought she ought to like all classics, it’s quite striking how much it reads like a first novel. I love the story and of course I love the characters (after all I named my daughter after one of them) so I don’t mind the flaws (it’s more of a “telling, not showing” kind of flaw, and anyway who am I to judge Jane Austen?) But I do wonder how much better it would read if she’d written it later, with a bit more dialogue, a more deft touch and with a more prominent duel scene. (After all, who knew there’s a duel in Jane Austen? While I love that she write delicately about what she knew, there’s got to be some way of putting the duel in there.)
And now E’s choice!
E is very fond of Maisy. For those of you who don’t know, Maisy is a white mouse who lives in her house, with a stuffed toy panda and a pet cat for company. She has several unlikely friends – a crocodile, a duck, an elephant and a squirrel – and they have all kinds of fun times and handily teach children about new experiences too. Where is Maisy’s Panda is a lift the flap book and you have to look in some pretty silly places for Panda. The toilet contains a fish, the washing basket has a roosting chicken and there’s a snail under the kitchen sink. I think I have mentioned E’s love of lifting the flap before, so this is a good one and she likes to point out Maisy with a chubby finger and the word “duh” each time too.
(Spoiler alert: Panda is in the toy box)