sudden hill 009Author Linda Sarah’s On Sudden Hill is one of those wonderful picture books that, through an outwardly simple story, so vividly captures the drama, challenge and wonder of childhood.

It’s a timeless tale of two best friends who spend hours together playing in cardboard boxes on Sudden Hill. Then one day a new boy with a new box arrives, and he wants to join them. Can a two-by-two rhythm of friendship become three? Well, you’d have to buy the book to find that out. Suffice to say that the book has recently been placed on the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) ‘Power of Reading’ reading list, and it’s a crackling good read.

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The book’s illustrations by Benji Davies vividly evoked memories of my own childhood in the village of Starkholmes above Matlock Bath in Derbyshire. In the midst of a busy working day afternoon, I found myself drifting back to Bath Fields below the village – to tree houses, gangs, the Mine, the Washing-Machine Spinney, Nanny (my cousins’ goat who ran around freely with us all day long) and of course to soap box racers. I have a vague memory of hammering nails into blocks of wood and bending the nails over to form a cradle for the pram wheel axle… I couldn’t find a picture to confirm my hazy memory, but did come across the following images that hopefully capture something of the magic.
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It makes you want to search out a couple of set of wheels and a few scraps of wood and make a cart doesn’t it?       IMG_5900 (3)

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