It’s always a pleasure to read Kerry Clare’s reviews on her blog Pickle Me This. Not only are they insightful and engaging but when it comes to her reviews of children’s books they often incorporate reactions from her own children which adds a reader response to an otherwise adult perspective. I’m happy to say that Kerry and her kids loved my first Pinny book, Pinny in Summer, and I’m thrilled that they are equally enamored with Pinny in Fall.
“…we’ve been looking forward to Pinny’s return with Pinny in Fall, a collection of four miniature adventures that demonstrate the amazing possibilities of a single day, smallness (and slowness) writ large in an approach that reminds me of the Frog and Toad books.”
Pinny lives in a cottage by the sea and whether or not her parents are hiding somewhere in the background of this story is left ambiguous. In this sense Pinny steps into the realm of many other children’s books where one way or another parents need to be removed for an adventure to flourish. In Pinny’s case the adventures are small and close to home, nonetheless being on her own is central to her discovery and engagement with the world around her. Is Pinny really living alone or is the world of childhood she inhabits so separate that it’s best represented parent-free?
Kerry’s kids asked the question, does Pinny have parents, and her answer is perfect.
“I tell them that her parents are probably curled up in comfortable chairs somewhere reading.”
A not surprising answer from a voracious book-reading parent yet one that also places the parents right where they need to be – nearby but oblivious, comfortably absorbed reading a book so that “Pinny can do whatever she wants to.” Not every child will ask if Pinny has parents but for the ones that do you might just give them Kerry’s answer. With the parent question settled, the child reader can then accompany Pinny as she heads out to experience a little bit of life all on her own.
“Pinny in Fall is a gorgeous, old-fashioned story with such reverence for language, and wholly infused with a sense of wonder that will inspire readers to look at the world differently and seek out adventures of their own.”