Return to Skunk Corners is like curling up in front of a log fire with a cup of cocoa. Oh, come to think of it, that’s how I read it! It’s a beautiful story extending our knowledge of Big Al and the Ninja Librarian, focusing on life in the settlement known to one and all, including the skunks, as Skunk Corners.
As before, this is narrated by Big Al, the schoolteacher, who has a lovely languid style, occasionally shooting off into local idioms when things get tough or the kids need clear instructions! Although she doesn’t realise it, Big Al is the great mover and shaker for the town, and things are rarely dull there. This book sees threats from snowstorms, forest fires, and mean interlopers from neighbouring settlements. Fortunately, with her special lessons from the Ninja Librarian, and the wisdom to trust other people in the town whatever their age, Al comes through it all with flying colours. Not that she’d take any credit for it, since the way she sees it, it’s the other people that have done everything.
It’s a delightful study of a small town coming to terms with itself. The writing is delicious, and you just don’t want to stop once you’ve started. I love the characters, who come alive on the page effortlessly – so it seems. I also love the increasing involvement of the skunks – I never knew they were Mephista mephista, but then why would I?
Return to Skunk Corners is a great story and worthy successor to the Ninja Librarian. It’s an evocative adventure from shimmering rainbow to stinging icestorm, with added hot water for our heroes at last!
with cover illustration by Danielle English
I received a free copy of this book from the author but the review is entirely my own view.
Part of the Kid Lit Blog Hop.