‘Footprints in the Snow’ by Maggie Holman
My Rating: 4 out of 5
Footprints in the Snow is a heart warming children’s story that will appeal to young and old alike. Jamie lost his father and had been slowly coming to terms with his grief. His mother drops him off at a remote location to stay with his grandfather, who he affectionately calls Grancher Pete while she goes on a trip. Holman recreates the setting of the Forest of Dean with beautiful clarity, leaving us with a clear picture of this hauntingly stunning landscape.
During his stay with Grancher Pete, Jamie makes new friends with three traveller children, Caro, Finn, and Molly. I like Caro; she has a cheeky sense of fun and a calming way with the forest animals, and she pushes Jamie to explore his abilities.
Although the underlying theme is family bereavement, Holman deals with this delicately and doesn’t let it overshadow the story of friendship and independence. Jamie grows during his brief stay with Grancher Pete and learns how to laugh once more.
Footsteps in the Snow is a heart warming story, ideal for middle-grade children.
A winter story with a spooky twist, it is aimed at the MG children’s age group but is being enjoyed by older readers as well. The central character is ten-year-old Jamie, a shy London boy who goes to stay with his grandfather in the beautiful and atmospheric Forest of Dean. Here he discovers that local people are searching for an elusive ‘forest panther’ and meets traveller children who learn the ‘old ways’ and can talk to animals.
Jamie thinks he knows the forest well, but he gets lost in the snow when he sets off alone to find his new friends. The question is, who will be able to find him? If you enjoy stories with a little bit of ‘unreality’, when a magical moment invades our everyday lives, then this is a story to add to your collection.
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