Puck of Pook's Hill
And in this collection, we can see yet another branch of influence. In several stories spanning centuries of English history, Kipli...more
Alas for period prejudices. The story starts with the tale of Weland Smith and the sword he made, and then introduces you to charming people from various historical periods, with mostly-lovely poetry between the sections -- and just about the time you're going, "Oh, ooh, all this is going to add up to the Magna Carta," in walk...more
Enchanted by the theatre, Dan and Una decide to recreate their own version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Finding the perfect spot, an old fairy ring, they set about their play, and are so enchanted that they perform it three times in a row. After a final bow, they sit down in the centre of the fairy ring - whereupon, the bushes part and Puck enters, stage left. Using his fairy magic, Puck then conjures up the past to entertain the two amazed children - a Roman centurion, a Renaissance artisan an...more
It is a collection of stories and poems that reflect in some way the history of that landscape, but venture away in both geography and fantasy. The stories also feel like they were written to be read aloud,...more
Of the classic children's books written by Rudyard Kipling, Puck of Pook's Hill has perhaps dated the most obviously. It remains a charming idea, much copied, but so much about it is a celebration of Victorian country life that in many ways it is not very relevant to the children of today. The idyllic upper class childhood of Dan and Una, full of enchanting places to play, has probably never existed outside fiction, and to be a child in the co...more
The British have a wonderful tradition of excellent adult authors writing fantasy children’s books that are also fun reads for adults. J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter”, C.S. Lewis’ "Alice in Wonderland" and "Chronicles of Narnia", and J. M. Barrie’s "Peter Pan" all spring to mind. Even J.R.R. Tolkien’s "Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings" were YA accessible and appropriate. But who would have thought Rudyard Kipling falls into this category?
The book Puck o...more
There is the basic structure - two collections of about a dozen stories each, in which each story is bookended by two connecting poems. But then there’s a series of layers across the storie...more
I grew quite fond of Sir Richard and Sir Hugh,...more
So begins a time of magic for Dan and Una. It was Midsummer’s Eve and the children have performed the play three times, unwittingly, inside a fairy ring near their home in Sussex. The summoning calls up the mischievous Puck, the last of the People of the Hill left in merry old England. Puck gives them the gift “to see what they shall see and hear what they shall hear, though it shoul...more
The tales transport Dan and Una via their rendezvous with the magical Puck through the ages but related back to their part of the country and how life used to be.
Written for children but with a darkness and intelligence that w...more
Pity about that final tale though, as I had until that point been describing the book as reminding me of a mo...more
"Puck of Pook's Hill" features a different setting and tone than most of Kipling'...more