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Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep

by Eleanor Farjeon
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

Published by U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2000

Ages 5 - 9

Eleanor Farjeon is considered to be one of the great writers of our time, and because of this, she was awarded the first Hans Christian Andersen International Medal in 1956 for her lasting contribution to Children's Literature. Some of us know the song "Morning Has Broken," but few of us realize that this British woman wrote the lyrics. Midst all of her fine writing for children, the elegant language of this short story has delighted all who've discovered it throughout the decades. Little Elsie Piddock is a "born skipper" who skips "as never so," and everyone who lives in Glynde under Mount Caburn knows this. Andy Spandy and the fairies know it, too. While she sleeps, they teach Elsie new skips. Years pass. A haughty new Lord takes charge of the old estate around which the common folk have lived for centuries. After raising the rents, the Lord fences in the people's access to open spaces in the Mount Caburn area. Where will the children skip? Finally the Lord agrees to allow everyone to skip a last skip, after which he will build factories on this land. Skippers of all ages do their best to keep skipping, and just as they are ready to give up old Elsie Piddock appears. To the astonishment of all, she skips as never so and saves the common spaces. "...she has never stopped skipping on Caburn since...If you go to Caburn at the new moon, you may catch a glimpse..." of a wee skipper and her community of human and fairy folk whose images have been movingly created in Charlotte Voake's cool green watercolors. A handsome gift edition to read and cherish. CCBC categories: New Editions of Old Favorites; Easy Fiction. (GMK; Oct 16) 2000 Cooperative Children's Book Center

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