This magical children’s book was one of my childhood favourites. Over the last few weeks I have been revisiting it with my children, so I looked it up on Amazon, expecting it to be out of print, and was delighted to find that the whole series were republished in 2002.
Tolly is an eight year old boy starting his holidays from boarding school. His father is posted abroad with his step mother, his mother having died long ago. Having spent his previous holidays at the school he is intrigued but apprehensive to find himself on the way to visit his mother’s grandmother, who he’d never met, in her ancient family home, Green Knowe. A quiet, rather lonely child, he quickly makes friends with his young-at-heart great grandmother and in exploring the old house finds it peopled with the reminders of other children of the family who lived there long ago. Gradually the three children become real to him as he catches tantalising glimpses of them and his grandmother recounts their stories.
Vivid detail and lively characterisation create an enchanting story that fascinates old and young alike. This is the first chapter book that my six year old has been interested enough in to listen to for long periods of time. Snow, floods, Christmas, feeding wild birds, tea in front of the fire, spirit children and an old house with loads of stories are the essential ingredients, with the warm relationship of Tolly and Mrs Oldknow at the heart of it. Lucy Boston weaves them together with great artistry into a gentle story (though with some tense episodes of suspense) that is timeless, despite the 50's background of Tolly’s boarding school and absent father that are so far from the experience of most of today’s children. It is a dreamy and slow-paced narrative, creating a special atmosphere, rather than relying on action for its appeal. I recommend this for ages 7-11 but it can be thoroughly enjoyed by older and younger as well.
See further details at Amazon.com by clicking on this title – The Children of Green Knowe.
Look at other readers’ reviews on Amazon.co.uk by clicking on this link – The Children of Green Knowe.