Eleanor Farjeon

Dear Readers:

I’m going to be in and out even more erratically than usual up until the end of August, which is when my dissertation writing has to be finished. You’ll find me here when one or more of three things occurs (I’m a Celticist; we work by threes):

a) I stumble across something I just have to share with you;

b) I have a question or a job for you;

c) I need to stretch my writing muscles before going back to my meat and potatoes writing.

Today? Well, there’s a bit of all three at work here I suppose! a) I want to draw your attention back to an author I’ve written about before (although never entirely to my own satisfaction– I just don’t seem to be able to capture her brilliance as well as I’d like); b) I have a job for you; c) I’m working towards a deadline and my words aren’t flowing as well as I’d like, so I thought a brief post here might get those muscles moving.

So. Eleanor Farjeon.

She’s come to mind, I know, because I’ve had the delight of reading a few stories from The Little Bookroom to the Changeling lately. I thought she was too young for them still, but, to my utter surprise and joy, she doesn’t seem to have noticed she’s too young for them, and has asked me to read them to her again and again. And dear God above, these are stories meant to be read aloud! They sing and dance on the tongue! I’m in heaven.

But the thing about Eleanor Farjeon is that she’s addictive; now that I’ve been reading her stories to my Changeling, I’m absolutely craving Martin Pippin in the Apple Orchard. Usually early spring is all about The Secret Garden for me, and I save Martin Pippin for the fall, but, well, a) The Secret Garden is in a box somewhere; and b) see above re: addiction to Eleanor Farjeon.

But I can’t read Martin Pippin yet– not until Saturday roles around, at the very least, and, I suspect… maybe not even then. I’m just working towards deadlines now. Which is where b) comes into the picture: Dear Book-Lovers, will you do me the very great kindness of somehow procuring some Eleanor Farjeon, especially Martin Pippin, and giving it a read? She’s undervalued, under-read, underappreciated, and one of the finest writers who has ever trod this beautiful, complicated, messy planet of ours, and she deserves to have more readers. I can’t take the time right now, but maybe you can. Check your libraries, or AbeBooks, or wherever you like, and delight yourself with her exquisite words. Then come back here and tell me your thoughts: either in the comments, or just write to me! deborah@childrensbookroom.com

Let’s celebrate Eleanor Farjeon and let’s read good stories. Your comments will give me a smile while I write, and you’ll be keeping Eleanor Farjeon’s name alive. So: Go forth and read while I sit here and write!

(And wish me luck with this deadline!)

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