Dad has to go to work, so you go down to see Mr Bluenose, there's always something to do there. He tells you stories while you give him a hand to sort apples, feed the pigs, teach Horse how to push the wheelbarrow, and terrify boys who plan to raid the apple trees.
On the way home, you look for empty bottles and sell them for boiled lollies to Mr Bryce at the store. He pays you more boiled lollies for telling him stories about how Mr Bluenose got his name, how he rode a whale to London, and was so sea-sick for so long in the crow's nest that he ran away from sea to Waharoa and planted his orchard.
And then there's always Freddy Jones and the other kids to scare with stories about vampires, moreporks and the White Woman of Waharoa who has a face as smooth as an egg...
Captivating and amusing; a rich, fun-filled summer through a child's eye.
It was my guess as I read this book that the story was set in the 50's or 60's in a rural Waikato town. I was extremely impressed when I started reading this story. There was a great deal of detail in the characters and surroundings, with easy to follow phrasing and well written descriptions.
The humour was a little more tongue-in-cheek than I expected for the target age group. Although, with a little helpful explanation from an older person, some things would become clearer. I had great fun reading all the included little stories between some of the main characters. A reasonably fluent reader will be able to finish this book by him/herself in about 2 - 3 hours. Good incentive for a youngster wanting a slight challenge.
Overall, a good story, great characters and a good price for a well written book. If I had the opportunity and cash, I woul;d purchase more copies for myself and other youngsters of around 10 to 12 who I think would enjoy the story.
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