Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson
|Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: Charming, and intelligently bringing very serious issues to the reader with wit and drama, this series is still one of a very high order.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 128||Date: July 2016|
|Publisher: Gecko Press|
Meet Dani – and if you haven't throughout the three previous books then you certainly should. Her life has been up and down, considering she's only just finished the first year of primary school, but at the moment it's on the up, with caveats. She's in an idyllic place – staying with the best friend imaginable for the entire summer holidays, on what might as well be a private island, and in constant contact with her father. The caveats concern what happened in book three and the fact that her father has been run over, but at least he calls every night at teatime. Until, that is, the night that he doesn't…
The cause for that hiccup is soon revealed, and in the brilliant way this series can adapt itself to be entertaining but issue-based at the same time, it shows greatly on Dani. For once, this cute, bubbly and talkative young lady clams up. Nothing doing. With the whole series of books concerning her happiness, how can she hope to find it again?
I don't imagine for a minute that issue books like this can be easy. We've had best friends snatched from us, depression (to name it loosely) and bereavement. Now Dani has a fourth life stage to go through, and while in blunt summary the whole thing sounds sickeningly soapy, on the page it's not. You can only feel the intelligent tenderness the author and artist have for their creations, and it leaches off the page, making Dani such a welcome person to meet, and talk about with the young person you've bought this book for. That person will turn the pages easily by themselves – the text is simplified without being too dumbed down; the pictures are large, impressive once more, and ideal companions to the script, which never taxes the young by being presented in bulk.
The whole series, and this volume in particular, has a pitch-perfect blend of levity and serious drama, of wish-fulfilment and of dumping our heroine in a nasty place. The girls can spend all day cuddling hamsters – but horridly large eagles soon swoop overhead. This is a real world where s*** happens – but until then you can skinnydip. The lesson that you can never rely on happiness, only make it with the strength of family and friends, is the gift of this series. And from what we've seen of it, the whole bundle of books in this series is a gift. We definitely recommend them.
The series started here.
You can read more book reviews or buy Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson at Amazon.com.
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