I’d already read The Little Village School and so I knew I was in for a sweet read when I downloaded Over Hill and Dale by Gervase Phinn.
Gervase Phinn was a school inspector and this series of books, he weaves anecdotes together to create beautiful stories that have the innocence and charm of children at their core.
There are also plenty of adults featuring too – the other school inspectors, headteachers, teachers, – portraying a range of adult qualities: jealousy, support, camaraderie, insecurity. But the lightness of touch celebrating the best of human nature persists throughout the book.
I haven’t highlighted any passages and I’m not sure whether the delightful quality will translate onto here out of the book’s context, but here is an example of the moments I’ve enjoyed.
“… The little angel sitting next to me whispered shyly, ‘I like rabbits.’
‘So do I,’ I replied.
‘My daddy likes rabbits too.’
‘And my mummy likes rabbits.’
She took a mouthful of meat and potato pie before adding quietly, ‘They taste really good with onions.’ “
Over Hill and Dale (The Dales Series) (Kindle Locations 772-775). Penguin Books Ltd. Kindle Edition.