What’s it all about?:
Barney is a solitary eight-year-old, given to wandering off by himself. One day he is lying on the edge of disused chalk-pit when he tumbles over, lands in a sort of cave, and meets’ somebody with a lot of shaggy hair and two bright black eyes’ – wearing a rabbit-skin and speaking in grunts. He names him Stig. They learn to understand one another, and together they raid the rubbish dump at the bottom of the pit, improve Stig’s cave dwelling, and enjoy a series of adventures that are sometimes wildly improbable and sometimes extremely practical.
What did I think?:
This is the April read for my “Kid-Lit” challenge, which I am taking part in with my sister. I haven’t read this book before either as a child or adult but remember my sister reading it and enjoying it. Overall, I found it quite a sweet story, although I agree with Chrissi in her review when she says that she cannot imagine the “modern day child” enjoying it as much. Ah, it was all so innocent back then!
The basics of the story revolve around a young boy and his new friend he meets whilst out exploring – a caveman like creature whom he names Stig. Of course they have lots of adventures, leaving you with a “feel-good” feeling in your tummy at the end of the book. There are moments which are quite dramatic however, such as their encounter with some nasty thieves who are after Barney’s Grandma’s silver. Until Stig frightens them off – hooray! I also enjoyed the story where Barney and his sister Lou go to a fancy dress party, his sister as a leopard. All the children are playing a game of “Hunt the Leopard” until they spot a real-live leopard, escaped from a local circus. Obviously, everything turns out for the best and everyone has a jolly time.
I think it’s really interesting to re-visit a book like this, especially as it reveals just how much times have changed in terms of children’s literature. There are still a number of great children’s authors out there who are doing a great job, but I do feel slightly sad for the loss of the above mentioned “innocent” times of Enid Blyton and Timmy the dog and Roald Dahl and his gobblefunking BFG!
Please see Chrissi’s fab review HERE.
Would I recommend it?:
Star rating (out of 5):