Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Land of Green Ginger

Seeing Oxford Reader's recent post about books you loved in your childhood, I dug out my copy of Noel Langley's The Land of Green Ginger.

I remember this book with enormous fondness and I am glad that on re-reading, it retains the magic it held for me as a child. I first read it whilst staying with my Grandparents and I just loved it. When I started reading this again last night the details came flooding back (I even recognised dialogue from really minor characters) so I suspect that I might well have read this several more times than the couple I thought I had...

"When Prince Abu Ali, son of Aladdin, is born his destiny has already been foretold: he is the one that has been chosen to break the spell of the mysterious Land of Green Ginger. His quest brings him into contact with flying carpets, button-nosed tortoises, magic phoenix birds - and two very villainous princes."

When I was a child I thought this book was absolutely hilarious and even as a proper adult I still found it an amusing take on a children's fairytale. Apparently the re-printed edition I read is 70 pages light of the "proper" version and this could explain why the story moved along at a much faster pace than I remembered so I shall have to keep my eye out for the 1966 older edition with the original text as I think that must have been the version I found in my Grandparent's bookshelves.

All in all a charming story that I am delighted retained its magic for me. It was also just what I needed after a week of reading that included The Almost Moon and A Mercy.

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