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I have spent the day attempting to find a feasible excuse as to WHY a twenty five year old with no kids was happily reading a book meant for small children. So far, I have found none. But Dick King Smith occupies a special place in my heart from my childhood reading of books like Daggie Dogfoot. When I found Sophie's Snail at a car boot sale, I couldn't resist grabbing it. Sophie is a very small stubborn girl. She's four when this book starts, although it is part of a series and she ages as the series continues. When she grows up, she has decided, she is going to be a lady farmer. But her parents say it takes a lot of money to be a farmer, and so she has already started collecting her pennies into a jar marked "FARM MUNY". Moreover, she has to practice, so out in the shed in the back garden, Sophie is farming woodlice, snails and earwigs. As someone who was an insect obsessed child (who grew into an insect obsessed adult! Hurrah!) I found a lot to smile about in the portrayal of Sophie. She's a charming little tomboy who stomps cheerfully through life, surviving the attentions of two older brother (twins even!) and silly girls who want her to play with their plastic ponies. I'm not too good at judging reading ages at the lower end of the spectrum but I'd say maybe a 7, 8 or 9 year old could manage it alone. Younger than that though, I'm sure most kids would love having it read to them. It's available for £4.69 at Amazon, but I reccomend getting the omnibus with two of the sequels instead for £5.24.
Small, but very determined, Sophie loves animals and is going to be a farmer when she grows up. Sophie's fond of most creatures - especially little ones like snails - but there's one she cannot stand: her prissy new neighbour Dawn!