Wednesday, November 26, 2008
The Saucepan Journey by Edith Unnerstad, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
I finally decided to read another in the series, The Saucepan Journey. It turns out to be the first in the series! The Larssons are poor. They have so many children there's scarcely room to turn around in their tiny apartment, let alone sleep. When their father's rich half-brother dies and leaves them only two draft horses and drays, Mrs. Larsson comes up with a novel idea - Mr. Larsson, who is an inventor when he's not a traveling salesman, will turn the wagons into caravans and they will spend the summer touring the countryside. Where does the Peep come in? Well, Mr. Larsson has designed a marvelous saucepan, and they will finance their journey by selling it along the way.
It's a wonderful summer. They meet a down-on-his-luck hot dog man, an eccentric old woman, a man who might be a murderer. They discover thieves, wonderful lakes, and fascinating Swedish towns.
Even if you're not fascinated by Scandinavian children's literature, as am I, this is a wonderfully nostalgic summer read. It well deserves to sit on the shelf with books such as Taylor's All of a Kind Family, Sidney's Five little Peppers, and Streatfeild's Magic Summer.
I still can't wait to read The Peep-Larssons go sailing....
Verdict: Lucky you if you can find a copy! It's out of print, so if you're interested look for a library that doesn't weed often or a decent used copy - they are out there.
ISBN: N/A; Reprinted in 1967 by Macmillan (out of print, but available used at a reasonable price); Borrowed from the library; Added to my personal wishlist