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"When Harriet goes to visit her Norwegian grandparents in the winter of 1927, she and her friend Espen are unprepared for the magical adventure that awaits them. Harriet tells us her story as an old woman, as she looks back on an experience that she will never forget. When the very future of Norway lay in the hands of a ten year old girl and a nine year old boy..."
Snofjell is a beautiful Norwegian fairytale, set in the Arctic Circle. It is steeped in Norwegian folkore and culture, which the author has taken time to research as thoroughly as an English girl can.
If you like fairies, trolls, nisse, mountainous snowscapes and lots of magic - in short a good old fashioned fairytale - then you'll love this book. Curl up with this cosy winter read when the snow is falling outside, the wind is raging and the fire is blazing in the hearth! Or, if you're reading this book at the height of summer, just invoke some magic of your own and pretend it is!
It was originally aimed at the 8-13 age group, for either gender, but adults seem to love it too so this is a book with universal appeal.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
I was an early, avid reader, from around the age of 3 according to my parents. I was frequently found with a newspaper across my tiny knees, and they quickly realised that I wasn't just looking at the pictures - I was actually reading the articles! My fate as a lover and writer of magical tales was likely sealed back then, in 1982, when they bought me two large volumes of fairytales from the Readers Digest. Probably so that they could have their newspapers back...
Finding myself unable to resist the magic of folklore, I absolutely devoured the works of Hans Christian Andersen, The Brothers Grimm, and others. I especially loved those tales that were centred around Bavaria/Central Europe, and Scandinavia. The landscapes/settings drew me in - mountains, deep dark forests, ruined castles, old hamlets full of traditional folk, and the mysterious unseen creatures that lived around them who sometimes made an unexpected appearance.
As I grew up I loved Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, and Roald Dahl in particular and these authors, along with traditional fairytales, are clear influences in my works, even if I don't realise it myself at the time of writing! A friend's young daughter, upon reading Snofjell, actually asked her mum if they got the idea for Narnia from it! I feel really honoured by this comment, as I think CS Lewis's work is fantastic, and it shows what children's authors can achieve when they inspire the creative minds of tomorrow to continue the tradition of good, old fashioned literature.
Standing on the shoulders of the aforementioned giants, this is exactly what I hope to do with my own work. Through my own books, and PlantaPress, the aim is to keep the spirit of reading and writing alive in an increasingly visually oriented world, and work to develop, and maintain, the literacy of both adults and children.
Enjoy Snofjell, and all that come after...!
Jennifer M Smedley is the Founder and Director of PlantaPress, an independent publishing company. Fluent in Spanish, with a working knowledge of French and German, she is also a qualified post-compulsory education tutor, specialising in Literature and Languages.
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