When I was a kid one of my favourite books was The Tiger That Came To Tea by Judith Kerr. It was always Each Peach Pear Plum that came home in my older brother's book bag, but for me it was all about the tiger that disrupted a household at tea time. So, when my fascination developed for World War 2 during my History A-Level, mum bought me her Young Adult offering; When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit/Bombs On Aunt Dainty. I have wanted to read this for ages, seriously it's be on my bookshelf for literal years, but it was lost under my legitimate A-Level contemporary sources and textbooks. This month though, I dragged it out and settled down with it.
This is actually two standalone books - but Bombs On Aunt Dainty follows on from When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit and so I simply sat and read one straight after the other. This is, I believe, based on Judith Kerr's true journey from Berlin to London, and it shows. Although reading this as an adult it seems anything but a book for young readers, the fact is it turns the war into something young people would be able to understand at a basic, terrifying level; and it perfectly captures the confusion and loneliness of a child and her family becoming refugees.
Everything about the book is charming - it's uncomfortably frank about the death and loss that happened during the war, and yet it's charming and funny and it shows the disfunction of childhood and teenage life as it happens to both Anna and her brother Max. It shows the war from the view of a German family, and yet one who didn't spend the war in their own country - it's enchanting and awkward and awful in equal measures and I enjoyed every single minute of both novels.
This isn't an easy read - but it's a worthwhile one. It's charming and shows the atrocities of war for refugees and yet it's beautifully written and captivating. I can't recommend it highly enough and I can't wait to get my hands on Judith Kerr's adult novel of A Small Person Far Away.
What's your favourite book at the minute?
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