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Anthony McGowan, Guest Editor June 2015 chose Animal Farm as one of his favourite short novels.. "Garner has a good claim to be our finest living children’s writer (although he baulks at such restrictive definitions). His work has always interwoven fantasy and a grittily-rendered reality, but here realism comes to the fore. Four very short linked stories take us through four generations of one family in a Cheshire village. You could say that the stories are ‘about’ the nature of craftsmanship, the importance of geography in our psychic development, how wisdom is passed down through the generations, about how seemingly simple people lead lives of depth and resonance. Yet somehow it’s not really what its about that gives The Stone Book Quartet its power: it’s what it is: a self-contained, perfect work of art, as heavy in the hand as a granite rock."
This enchanting collection, retold by writer and critic Naomi Lewis, contains twelve of Hans Christian Andersen's magnificent stories. It includes Thumbelina, a little girl no more than a thumb-joint high, The Emperor's New Clothes , the tale of a man who cares only for his appearance and The Little Mermaid, who longs to one day marry a human prince.