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A fine collection of stories about Mardie, a little Swedish girl who is 'big, almost seven' and her little sister. Sixes to eights will be captivated by the songs, the pranks (the funniest is where the little sister gets a pea stuck up her nose: not to be tried) and the changing seasons. They will be brought up vividly, in an unusual way, by the crisp simplicity of the writing (is it the fact that the gifted translator has had to give such close attention to the words that gives the writing a poetic resonance that you'll never find in a reading scheme?) The sights, smells, feelings of early childhood are splendidly held and savoured. The story called 'A Very Jolly Sad Day' is the best account I've read of a child learning the near-magical power of writing.