Next-door neighbors in a small Norwegian town share mishaps and mischief.
Spanning a year in their lives, this lively tale details the escapades of Trille and his neighbor, Lena. Through the voice of pragmatic 9-year-old Trille, Parr deftly portrays her narrator’s earnestness and Lena’s insouciance as together the friends carry out their schemes with often humorous and occasionally regrettable results. Though they live in quiet Mathildewick Cove, the friends’ dynamic imaginations lead to several exhilarating—and a few precarious—escapades, which range from seafaring ventures to a mountainside helicopter rescue. Amid these antics, Parr subtly reveals Trille’s and Lena’s innermost worries. Although Trille considers the irrepressible Lena his best friend, he wonders whether she reciprocates those feelings. And beneath Lena’s vibrant exterior, she longs for a father, a dilemma that she attempts to resolve in her indefatigable, quirky fashion. Through several well-nuanced characters, Parr delineates Trille’s extended family support and reveals the familial closeness that Trille so cherishes. Trille's relationships with his grandfather and his beloved “Auntie Granny” celebrate these multigenerational connections. With simply rendered illustrations that zero in on key elements of the story, Forrester extends the charm of this tale.
Filled with both rollicking escapades and poignant moments, Parr’s notable tale portrays a young boy’s heartfelt appreciation of family and friends. (Fiction. 8-11)