Monday 25 May 2015

Poka and Mia at the Bottom of the Garden by Kitty Crowther (Tate Publishing)

Poka and Mia at the Bottom of the Garden

Written and Illustrated by
Kitty Crowther

Published by Tate Publishing

We are SO GLAD that Kitty Crowther's incredible stories are finally being translated into English. We're new to "Poka and Mia", two endearing insects that are the stars of a whole series of children's stories by Kitty but now we've met them we really can't wait to read the rest of their tales.

Kitty's book "La Visite De Petit Mort" was a book I bought a while ago after spotting the amazing cover, and relishing the fact that it's got a dark twist or two to it, but is essentially a really positive and joyful story once you start to read it.

In "Poka and Mia at the Bottom of the Garden" Mia is playing in the garden and feels sure she's being watched. A mysterious pair of eyes glares at her from the bushes, and so she swiftly scuttles inside.

Poka tries to encourage Mia to come out to the shops but Mia doesn't want to leave the house. Things get decidedly worse at night as Mia spots a tiny little light glowing at the bottom of the garden.

Who IS the mysterious stranger who has moved in?

Mia, rather bravely, decides to investigate...

We were instantly hooked by this story, not least of all because of Kitty's aforementioned gift of setting up a story with a fairly 'dark' beginning, but turning things around mid-flow until you're positively cheering at the outcome. Charlotte once described her love of stories that "have something exciting to keep you reading" and she was rooted to the spot while we read this wonderful tale. Kitty's illustrations are glorious (and we love in particular her brilliant gift of imbuing her characters with the most fantastic expressions).

We'll be taking a further look at Poka and Mia stories very soon on the blog so watch out for more. In the meantime, if you're new to Kitty's work, these translated versions are a fantastic place to start - and we truly can't wait to see if the rest of Kitty's work drifts over the English Channel into our eager and waiting hands.

Charlotte's best bit: Poor Mia taken prisoner! EEP! How can she possibly escape?

Daddy's Favourite bit: This story is a real wow - It's got the lot, from a darkly tinged and slightly unnerving beginning to a shout-and-cheer-out-loud wonderful friendship and ending. Utterly BRILLIANT!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Tate Publishing)

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La Visite De Petit Mort by Kitty Crowther