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Lindgren, Barbro: Translated by Sandra Death: Soda Pop.

Lindgren, Barbro

Translated by Sandra Death

Soda Pop

Illustrated by Lisen Adbage

Gecko Press, 2017, pp200, 7.99 [pounds sterling]

978 1 776570 11 9

First published in 1970, in Sweden, this is a collection of short stories which are both quirky and very appealing.

Mazarin lives with his father Soda Pop, his grandfather Dartanyong and his great grandfather, who thinks he is a cuckoo, and lives in a tree. Mazarin is by far the most sensible but goes along happily with the decisions made by his father, and allows Soda Pop to win all their games. They are both very patient and kind to Dartanyong who is a hypochondriac and also creates himself a new identity every day. They share their home with a selection of animals, and many of the adventures involve the animals and there is also a cast of slightly awkward characters who come and go--Gustav the thief, the grumpy old man and a kindly hotdog seller.

The plot of each story reflects the concerns of the real world but within minutes the reader is taken off towards a less familiar landscape. When Soda Pop is persuaded to find a job, he tries, but with absolutely no success. Instead of being disappointed he is mightily relieved. When they befriend a robber and invite him to stay, and he goes off with all their valuables, they are unperturbed and seem to accept this as a normal turn of events. There is a gentle sweetness in all the stories, despite there being many threats and uncertainties. The colourful illustrations by Lisen Adbage add charm and character to the text. The length of each story make them ideal for reading aloud in one session to a whole class. Gecko Press in New Zealand are to be congratulated on this extraordinary publishing achievement.

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Author:Morpurgo, Clare
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 22, 2018
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