Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1334
Adventures in Norway
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Translated from the Norwegian by Guy Puzey, first published in 2005.

Lena and Trille live in a small coastal town near the mountains in Norway. Lena has a single mother, whom she would like to fix up with the local doctor, who pays many visits to Lena's house, since she is always involved in some adventure that leads to an accident. Trille has supportive parents, a sister adopted for Colombia, his grandfather, and Auntie Granny, his grandfather's sister, who makes the eponymous waffles. Smoking haddocks, do the children get into adventures. They take the ferry to the mainland and busk in order to earn money to buy a soccer ball, pretend to be living during WWII, unfortunately involving the resident of a nursing home who thinks that WWII is still going on, and facilitating Lena's running away when her mother wants to move away from Trille's family. Told in anecdotes that take us through a year, this book showcases everyday Norwegian life.

While this is a book for younger readers, there are some issues that might lend this to reading the book together instead of independently. Lena and Trille get into a lot of trouble and occasionally get injured, and Auntie Granny passes away.
Good Points
This had the feel of classic children's literature, so fans of The Penderwicks, Elizabeth Enright, or my favorite picture books, Flicka, Ricka and Dicka will like this. Since it showcases Norwegian culture so nicely, it is also good to read with other multicultural books, like Tak’s Mikis and the Donkey (Greece) or Houts’ Winterfrost (Denmark). I learned a few things about life in Norway, including the fact that people still wear wooden shoes on farms. Love the cover and the illustrations by Kate Forrester.
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