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Jamie and Angus Together

Anne Fine
Walker Books
May 2007
Innocence and experience are juxtaposed and played off one another with expert brilliance in the relationship Anne Fine develops between Jamie and his favourite soft toy, Angus. Acting as a siphon for the turn of phrase and thoughts that predominate amongst the adults that surround him, Jamie assumes a paternalistic role over Angus, whom as a consequence of transference on the part of Jamie, affects the role and guise of child. Interplay between these shifting identities creates the dynamism and drive for the stories both in the original collection and in this new volume, “Jamie and Angus Together”.

Six new stories see Jamie struggling to protect Angus from the boisterous Bella, learning to paint, taking a post-Christmas, countryside ramble with Uncle Edward, deciding a means for organising his book collection – the one chosen incidentally will have librarians the length and breadth of the country curling their toes in anguish! – and ultimately growing older and the possibility of his feeling a little more distanced from Angus…

Character descriptions are swiftly sketched but are memorable and are tinged with the warmth of love and affection under which development flourishes and is best nurtured. A childhood idyll, these are perfect stories about a perfect friend and in whom mutual, unconditional trust and care is shared, perfect for reading aloud and sharing, perfect for young and old alike with their subtle observations on childhood, overall, just perfect!

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