Book review: Life According to Dani, by Rose Lagercrantz, illustrated by Eva Eriksson

Lagercrantz, Rose. Life According to Dani. (Dani series, book 4) Illustrated by Eva Eriksson. Gecko Press, 2016. 103 pages. $16.99. ISBN 9781776570706. Ages 6-8. P7 Q8

lagercrantz-life-according-to-daniDani has finished first grade. While her father recuperates in hospital from a traffic accident, Dani is happy to spend the school break on an island with her grandparents—the same island where her best friend Ella will spend the summer. Though Dani loves playing with Ella, she becomes sad when her father forgets to call one night. When he brings a girlfriend unannounced to a visit to the island, Dani is both angry and sad.  It takes talking with her friend Ella to bring Dani back to being happy.

Translated from Swedish and published in New Zealand before being released in the United States, this early chapter book deals with issues that are more mature than those in most American publications for this age group.  Like many other children, Dani has to deal with family matters including separations from a parent, a parent’s long-term illness,  and a parent forming new relationships outside the parent-child bond.  Life According to Dani shows some of the ways a real child might react.

Verdict: I recommend this book highly for elementary school and public libraries.

December 2016 review by Jane Cothron.


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