Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Alfie and Annie Rose

This darling little book is in a genre that I don't normally read, but it's such a sweet book that it really deserves it's own review.  The Alfie and Annie Rose books are stories about two little 80s/90s British children and their happy lives.   The stories are told mainly from Alfie's perspective, but Annie Rose definitely plays a big role in the stories.  Alfie is a 4 or 5 year old and Annie Rose is a toddler, so she's probably anywhere from 1-3.  I just read recently that Alfie would be 30 now if he were a real person.  That surprised me so much because Alfie lives in my mind as a 5 year old.  He has all kinds of adventures from going to a birthday party where his friend gets very wild and naughty to befriending the "big boy" (a first grader) at school.  Alfie and Annie Rose live charming, normal lives and I remember how much I identified with them.

Just recently, my mom got one of the Alfie and Annie Rose books just for fun.  It was fun to flip through those pages again and remember so many of those stories.  I grew up reading these stories and I was amazed how much I remembered about the books.  I think that these books are so enjoyable in large part because Shirley Hughes (the author) clearly knows children so well.  She understands just how excited and out of control children get at a 5 year old birthday party and she knows about naming inanimate objects funny names (I had a pumpkin named Perenkin when I was about Alfie's age).  In addition to all these wonderful qualities, the illustrations are gorgeous.  The family's cluttery, cozy little London flat is so much fun to see.
An illustration from one of the books.

I really do recommend these books for anybody.  If you have some contact with any children (or if you don't), I think these books are a must-read.  When there are so many unlikeable characters in children's books and sub-par stories, these books are very refreshing.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad to read you've discovered Shirley Hughes!
    Take a look at her Wikipedia entry and www.alfiebooks.co.uk Even though I've known her books for years even I was surprised to learn she is now 86 and published her first widely known one 'Dogger' in 1977 - which went on to win the Kate Greenaway medal.
    Get hold of more and enjoy them!
    Anyone (in the UK particularly) who knows anything of toddlers will see that in her illustrations captures them perfectly!