I love Wendy Meddour’s Wendy Quill series, so I had to treat myself – er, I mean my daughter – to a copy of Dottie Blanket when I saw it recently. Plus it has the added bonus of illustrations by Mina May (who also illustrates Wendy Quill) which are fantastic as ever.
I have been feeling a bit run down recently, so yesterday I took myself off to bed with Dottie Blanket. And she was the perfect tonic. Blanket by name, comforting by nature. Dottie and her mum and dad and baby brother live in a small flat between a railway and a fish shop, in the City. Dottie is having a hard time of it because the kids at school call her nasty names on account of her fishy/trainy smell. Dottie clings to the idea that if she wishes really, really hard for things, they will come true by magic. Most of the time they don’t, but she keeps believing – and then one day, the magic DOES happen, and Dottie and her family move out of the City to Somewhere Else, which is a teeny tiny house on a green hilltop, with a SWEET SHOP next door and a delightfully untidy girl called Winnie Crisp.
It’s basically a ‘finding your feet in a new place/school/home’ story, but is told with real warmth and charm and wit. Dottie is a sweetheart. I want to know more about the Fidgets though, who try to raid Winnie’s secret den and steal her treasure (lemonade and sweets, reminiscent of the Famous Five). And I’d like to read more adventures with Dottie and Winnie, and Fflwffen the lamb. Oh – and I particularly like reading all the Welsh words that I can’t pronounce. Perhaps a pronunciation guide at the back would benefit those of us who can’t cope with words bereft of vowels…
This is a lovely little book, suitable for all young readers, dealing with real issues (fear over moving house, bullying, making new friends, starting new school) with a very light touch and much warmth and humour. More Dottie please! Er, for my daughter, obviously.