I wanted to feature this book on my main blog rather than the review section because I can’t be impartial towards it. Under these circumstances, it wouldn’t be a fair review. Lynn, you see, is my friend and allotment neighbour and I’m really proud of her, and her journey to becoming a published writer.
The Country Tales with Rodderick and Mabel Rat and their Allotment Friends is a lovely children’s story set amongst our plots and the local area. Rodderick and Mabel have a penchant for lemon drizzle cake and live under Lynn’s shed on plot 59. They’re at the hub of allotment life and this story chronicles their adventures hunting for food around the plot and visiting the annual Harvest Mouse Festival where peas are the going currency for fairground rides.
It’s on the allotment that they meet Bodger the badger, Digger the mole, and rabbits Clever Trevor and Bunny Bonkers (who plot-holders are forever trying to shoo from their plots [as you can tell from my real-life rabbit related blog posts!]).
Lynn’s creativity and wonderful sense of humour are evident throughout the story, even during periods of tension, such as when the friends embark upon a mission to save Ruby, a deer displaced by quarrying, and when Bodger’s family needs rehoming after their sett is compromised during construction of a new housing estate. Lynn shows us how important it is to consider the impact of human activity on wildlife-rich sites. Mainly though, this is a story about bravery, tenacity and the importance of friendships, and that’s something every reader can appreciate.
The writing is poetical and rhythmical allowing the story to flow and unfold at its own pace and is sure to keep young children engaged with its repetitive onomatopoeic descriptions: the red kites’ ‘twiss, twiss’, the ‘swish, swish’ of bats flying above, the ‘vroom, vroom’ and ‘scrunch, scrunch’ of mechanical diggers, and the metrical ‘buzzzzzz” of the bees
It’s an utterly charming book and is sure to keep little (and not-so-little) ones interested in allotment life, as are the fun illustrations created by Lynn’s son Jon.
Published by: Michael Terence Publishing
Available to buy at: Amazon
Follow Lynn on Twitter: @ladylynncarter