My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The more I read of the Pea books, the more I keep being reminded of how they are a very quiet classic in the world of British children’s literature today. They have an almost palpable heritage of the Casson family, Noel Streatfeild, Enid Blyton and read like snow on a school day, crumpets by the fire, and that first day of the school holidays, and they are perfect. Genuinely so. Beamingly so. There’s a richness to these books that astounds me and were I to recommend one book for the relevant age group, it would be these. Any of them. I love the care of them, I love the quiet sagacity of them, and I love the story of them. I love them. So much.
This is the second book in the series. All of them stand ineffably well by themselves so don’t worry about the series of the series. (I appreciate that may make no sense – I hope it does). One of my big pet hates are series titles which forget that they are sold as stand alone titles; you know the sort where you get launched in and have no clue why Aethelfred is stealing the Diamond of Importantness and ignorning the fact that Flibbertigibbet just died…. Suffice to say, Day doesn’t do that. I love the construction of this book, the tightness of it and the way that within three pages, we have characters established, backstory and a motivation for the story all just -there. And not obviously either. Just there, and part of the story that is Pea’s Book of Big Dreams.
And what a lovely little book this is. Pea is having a bit of a crisis; she can’t figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. The new English teacher at school has quite spectacularly dented her confidence so it’s time for a change. What is Pea going to be when she grows up?
There’s not many more ways for me to reiterate how wonderful this book and this series is but I’m going to try. The richness of Day’s world and the soft, genuine warmth of it is something quite perfect. These books exist are a constant delight and they should be savoured. Intensely. Like the finest of things. Because they are.