This is a book which mothers and fathers will sit up to finish, after the protesting child has been dragged firmly off to bed. Nobody who is once well along in this book will let the fortunes of Evert and Afke–and even more particularly, perhaps, of Simon–rest in uncertainty until tomorrow, except such members of the household as have no choice in the matter.
For this is more than just the charming account of certain Dutch customs, a description of what happens in the winter in Holland when there is ice on the canals; this is a good story. The children whose acquaintance you make in A Day on Skates are real children, not puppets; you will meet in these pages no dull little Miss Good, no tiresome little Mister Naughty; these are real children, and they are delighted children. It is most unlikely that the small reader, or for that matter the reader who is very large indeed, will be indifferent as to whether or not the burgomaster changes his mind about (but I mustn’t tell what); whether or not the boys get safely down from (but I mustn’t tell you where); whether or not Simon ever wins the friendship of (no, I mustn’t say of whom).
Then there are the illustrations, which, in addition to being so extremely pretty just to look at, are so full of vivid and interesting detail, that if you study them a bit carefully you will not only get pleasure and amusement from them, you will also be learning something, and quite painlessly, too.
In short, this is a book which should be in the library of every child who likes to read, or likes to look at pictures, or is curious to know what children in foreign countries are like.
Hardcover, 40 pages.