Review; A Year in Brambly Hedge

Over the field and across the stream lives a community of mice in a place called Brambly Hedge. Reading the Brambly Hedge books shaped my childhood and I think, influenced me as a person. You see, it was definitely from them that I became inspired to look at the nature in our garden and read more about plants and animals. I loved the stories and had loads of the spin off merchandising. Well, would you believe it, Brambly Hedge is now thirty years old. To celebrate this Harper Collins have released a lovely box set of the four original stories. They sent me a copy and I have to be honest the children have had it read to them, I’ve not allowed their little fingers to sully my special books. Yet.

The books were written and illustrated by Jill Barklem in 1980, this box set contains Spring Story, Summer Story, Autumn Story and Winter Story. Each of the stories is complete in itself, and tells of the everyday life of the mice in each season. The wedding in the Summer Story is our favourite. One of the things that shines through these books is a flavour of the countryside

and rural life. I have found them really useful for discussing seasonality with the children; the Winter Story and it’s snow is proving a helpful preparation for what may come this winter!
I think its fair to say that most people my age loves Brambly Hedge, and it’s wonderful to be able to introduce my children to it. I remember reading the stories throughout my childhood and I really hope my children will enjoy them as much as I did. The stories are fantastic as they can form a brilliant springboard for all sorts of country craft activities. They are gentle, calm stories and the illustrations are wonderful. I remember feeling inspired as a child to go out and learn all about the different plants illustrated. The mice are dressed exquisitely. Sigh, I love it so much, I really do!
This is a wonderful box set, if you don’t own any Brambly Hedge go and buy it. Alternatively it would make a fabulous gift for Christmas. I’m off to acquire some of the other stories and I may even try to get some of the spin-off ceramics for Fifi.

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