The Daily Journal of Arabella Crumblestone by Sharon King and Rose King
|The Daily Journal of Arabella Crumblestone by Sharon King and Rose King|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: A delightful faerie story which illustrates how difference affects family life. Recommended|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 95||Date: November 2010|
|Publisher: Midnight Owl Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Arabella Crumblestone was making her way along a dry-stone wall in Northumbria, courtesy of a sheep named Leroy, when she met the two human children, Faith and George. George gave her a piece of chocolate (although she didn't know that's what it was) and she was grateful. The boy had no words, but he hummed. The next day he returned to the wall with his sister who never seemed to stop talking. Arabella was lonely – but could she trust Faith and George? Hunger, cold and loneliness made her decision for her and before long she had a bed in Faith's warm pocket.
We follow Arabella (via her jewel-encrusted journal) from the end of October to the beginning of February as she comes to terms with life with the children and their parents. Sharing a cage with a pet rat was bad (the smell!) and the dolls' house not a lot better as Arabella needed to be outside, to move through stone – to be in her element. For Arabella is a faerie, a stone faerie with wings she believes to be useless. There's a picture of her - by illustrator Rose King – at the beginning of the book, where she's at the mercy of hedgehogs and spiders. She's smooth-limbed, large-eyed and with hair that goes all over the place. Moss is her usual food and she will break your heart. I can understand why Faith wanted to take her home.
It's a wonderful story of faerie life which will appeal to the thoughtful child. This story will appeal just as much to adults as to children because that's the way it's written. Younger children will need to work at it a little, but the reward is an endearing story and characters who stay with you. I loved Arabella with her matter-of-fact approach to life and calm acceptance of those who are different, because it is difference and the way which affects family life which is behind this story.
Illustrator Rose King has Asperger's Syndrome and her brother and sister are also on the autistic spectrum, as is George in the story. The exploration of the disability is done with a very light and loving touch. For every book sold £1 will be donated to the National Autistic Society. I'm sure that you're well-used to people asking you to buy books because there's going to be a donation to charity and often thought that you'd rather have saved the trees and just given the donation. Well this book is an exception and there's a delightful story in there.
I'd like to thank the author for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For another story of a child with autism we can recommend The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon. For the story of an adult with Asperger's Syndrome try Look Me In The Eye by John Elder Robison.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Daily Journal of Arabella Crumblestone by Sharon King and Rose King at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Daily Journal of Arabella Crumblestone by Sharon King and Rose King at Amazon.com.
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