Books and Magic: ‘The Travelling Bookshop’ by Katrina Nannestad
July 14, 2021
A new book for younger readers that illustrates the role books can play in our lives, this delightful offering by Australian author Katrina Nannestad (author of We Were Wolves) also includes magic and travel. Perfect to encourage dreaming, especially in this time of Covid when for many families, travel is just that – a dream.
Ten year old Mim lives with her dad and her little brother in a wooden caravan that is both their home and a bookshop. Flossy the horse pulls the caravan to where it is most needed – in this story, they arrive in The Netherlands where they meet a little Dutch girl called Willemina.
Mim’s dad has the task of figuring out what the perfect book is for each person who visits their magical bookshop. That is not always the book the person most wants. It is, however, always the book they most need.
At first, Mim tries to figure out the perfect book for Willemina, who is sad because of the bullying she receives at school from her classmate Gerta. With Dad’s help, she realises that perhaps it is not just Willemina who needs the perfect book this time…
As well as spending time in the bookshop, the family loves to explore each new place they come to, enjoying wild days of fun and fantasy. Sometimes, Dad gets confused between things they have done and things they have read in books.
‘Huh,’ says Dad. ‘Just like that cow we saw jumping over the moon.’ ‘Dad,’ I moan. ‘That didn’t really happen. It was something we read in my nursery rhyme book.’ Dad narrows his eyes. ‘Are you sure about that, Mim?’ I think about it for a moment. I look at Daisy. No. I’m not sure. It’s hard to tell with books and real life. The line is not as clear as you think.’
The Travelling Bookshop p185
The Travelling Bookshop is about family, friends, the magic of books and being kind. Illustrated by Cheryl Orsini, it’s a sweet story perfect for reading aloud or for younger children starting out on chapter books.
The Travelling Bookshop is published by HarperCollins Children’s Books in July 2021. My thanks to the publishers for an advance reading copy to review.