My 7 year old daughter and I really enjoyed this book. It was a little slow and pretty long, but we still liked it. It's about a small village in the Netherlands that no longer has any storks. The school children decided that they would change that, and end the end they succeed.
I was a child a long time ago, my Mom and Dad took turns reading chapters of it to me and my sister. We enjoyed the story, the characters, and the "foreign vaation" to the Netherlands we experienced by "spending time" in the little village where the story is set.
And then I read it again, as an adult. Times changes, we change, but the book hasn't changed. Now the sex roles are stiff and artificial, the prejudiced comments seem to be tossed off as if there's nothing to them outside the ordinary. But it's no longer ordinary to laugh at someone who wants to live up to her potential. I cherish my memory of the first read, but I wouldn't hand it to today's children.
This is not only a Newbery Medal winner of the 1950s, it is also an excellent look at a Dutch village and its schoolchildren. Translated from the Dutch.
A refreshing change of pace for middle school children - or younger - or older. A teacher in charge of a grand total of six children in a Dutch town mentors them in the lessons of "if it is impossible, it's possible," and "start something - it may lead somewhere." The children decide to do whatever it takes to fulfill their dream of bringing storks back to their little fishing town. Boy, do they do whatever it takes! And boy, does it lead somewhere!