May 3rd, 2011


Puffin Covers 6

Songberd’s Grove by Anne Barrett, illustrated by David Knight. Puffin Story Book 186. First published 1957, first Puffin edition 1963.
I read this book from the library as a child. Years later I could only remember one thing about it: that there was a boy character whose father had been a boxer but whose mother told him his dad had been a florist. From this meagre information, someone was able to give me the title. It’s a good example of the trend towards more realistic stories for children. Young Martin and his family don’t have much money and in post-war Britain the housing officer finds them a new house in Songberd’s Grove. Given the charming name, Martin is very disappointed by the run down area they are to live in and feels even worse when he finds the street is run by bullies led by the-boy-who-didn’t-know-his-father-was-a-boxer. Martin learns to cope and the day is saved by a Lord Simon Vigo. Oh. Not so new and different, then. Very enjoyable, though.
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