Wednesday, 19 November 2014

The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit and other stories

The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit and other stories by Slyvia Plath
Published by Faber & Faber
6th November 2014
Paperback Edition

Better known for her writings for adults, Plath’s timeless collection of stories for younger children is filled with joy an wit.

In the eponymous The It-Doesn't-Matter Suit, little Max Nix is on a quest to find the perfect suit he can go ice-fishing, cow-milking and town-walking in. Everyone else in his family thinks they want the suit, but they can’t help thinking of places they can’t wear the suit. There's magic and chaos afoot in Mrs Cherry's Kitchen as the kitchen utensils beg the resident elves to let them swap duties for the day. Finally, The Bed Book is a beautifully paced poem taking children through all the exciting alternatives to the bed they currently own.

Simple, sweet, and with illustrations from David Roberts, The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit and Other Stories is a perfect choice for emerging readers of 5 years and up.

So first impressions of this book would be, really, Sylvia Plath for children?! Having read much of her other works I was curious to see if she could indeed pull it off.  Written by Plath in 1959 before she had her own children, the title story wasn't published until 1996 when it was discovered in a manuscript of her work.  It tells the story of Max, the youngest of a family of boys who dreams of finding the perfect suit to wear for all manner of activities.  One day such a suit arrives, but everyone else in the family wants to try it first, before finding it unsuitable for them - but not for Max!  Mrs Cherry's Kitchen sees the kitchen utensils swap jobs as they all think they can do what each other does.  After trying it out, only then do they realise that the job they actually do, is the best thing for everyone.  My favourite was The Bed Book poem which describes just what you could go to sleep on instead of a bed!

There are lots of repeated sentences in The It-doesn't-matter Suit that young children will catch onto and be able to take part in the story, and Mrs Cherry's Kitchen will provide many smiles.  I think this book would make a fantastic stocking filler this Christmas, for readers young and old.  Sylvia Plath for children - this parent and reviewer says a resounding yes!

Happy Reading

Miss Chapter x

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