I can’t believe Hilary McKay can write so many short, ‘younger’ books that are possible for an adult to enjoy for their own entertainment! Here is another one; The Zoo in the Attic, which I think is the first in the Paradise House series.
It’s actually very nicely dated. First published in 1995, it has those really old-fashioned black and white illustrations that I would expect to see in a book by Edith Nesbit, say.
The way the house is described is also quite quaint. It made me think of Usborne’s Historical House, where you see what the house once was, and then you get to know it the way it is now, and every stage in between. So, it’s an old and large house almost in the middle of London, which is now divided into flats, in which live various young children, who go on to have little adventures. (Today their poor parents would have been priced out of that kind of home altogether.)
Danny likes animals. When he can’t have a dog, he is quite happy with the goldfish he is given instead. And so he starts a zoo in the attic. Beetles, spiders, that kind of thing. Plus Oscar the goldfish.
The tenants of the whole house work together in a most un-modern way. It gave me a nice warm feeling, and I’m almost ready to move in. I expect the other five stories are equally nice. In fact, there is a first chapter from the next one, so I know that it will be good, too.
(It’s just the covers again…)