COME AWAY HOME by Alison Smith


Age Range: 8 - 11
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 When Angus, a young sea monster, awakes, he's no longer in the ocean with his family but surrounded by hills near one of Scotland's lochs, where James, a small black dog, has dragged him--none too gently--by the tail. Angus can't find the way back to the ocean, but soon makes new friends--including James's young mistress Fiona (who bandages the tail and later affectionately tricks Angus into speaking to her), a cat, and a pair of bickering otter brothers. Over the summer, Angus grows huge, while James helps him train to climb over a rocky hill so that he'll be able to escape back to the sea before snowfall. Starting with its appealing jacket illustration of the benign Angus beaming at his more conventional companions, this is wholly charming. Smith approaches both language and plotting details with discernment and supple wit (when Angus learns to speak, ``He was exceptionally good with Ss...but when he put his tongue up to the roof of his mouth to make an L, he had too much tongue left over, and his Ls sounded more like Rs...''), using just enough authentic Scottish turns of phrase to flavor her tale. A couple of environmental concerns and the possibility that Fiona will be taken from her aging grandfather-guardian add dimension; but, like the best fantasy, the greatest appeal here is in the growth of some warm, unusual friendships. A pleasure to share. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: April 30th, 1991
ISBN: 0-684-19283-7
Page count: 105pp
Publisher: Scribner
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1991


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