Thursday, 23 February 2012

blurred boundaries

We read a book the other day. 

As we tend to do from time to time.

This one was called ‘Rose Meets Mr Wintergarten’ and it was written by Bob Graham.

Helga popped in just as we were about to start reading – and she told us that in her language, German, Wintergarten means winter garden.  In fact we had already guessed as much.

This is how.


Rose (full name Rose Summers) was moving in.  And I bet you can guess which is her new house.  And which belongs to Mr Wintergarten.  One looks summery, the other decidedly wintery.

Anyway, the morning the Summers moved in, their new house immediately felt like home.


Rose and her sister stuck their posters on the walls of their bedroom - and in the garden…..


Mummy and Daddy planted bushes and flowers.

But there were terrible stories about the man who lived next door.   Her new friends told Rose that he was ‘mean’ and ‘horrible’; that he had a dog like a wolf and even a crocodile!

‘I don’t believe you,’ said Rose.  ‘And don’t frighten the baby!’


‘If your ball ever goes over the fence…..forget it!’

And of course, just as Naomi said that, what do you think happened?  Yes, Rose’s ball sailed right over the fence…..


and into Mr Wintergarden’s garten.  Or should that be the other way round?

Rose went to tell her mum.  Who told Rose she should just go and get it!

‘But he’s mean,’ said Rose.  ‘And horrible.’

‘Well,’ suggested Mum, ‘take him some hot cakes then.’  So that’s what she did.


They put the cakes into a basket, picked some flowers from the garden and off they went.  The gate was very hard to open!


Then Rose went up to the front door and knocked.


She went inside Mr Wintergarten’s house.


‘Who the devil is that?’ someone asked, grumpily.

‘I’ve brought you some cakes,’ said Rose.  She put them on the table with the flowers.


She was scared.  She rubbed her hands together…..


‘Can I have my ball back?’ she asked.

‘No!’ shouted Mr Wintergarten.

And so Rose left. 

After which we got talking.  I mean, can you imagine having to pay a visit to someone so mean and horrible?  I would be scared, wouldn’t you?  We decided it meant that Rose was a risk taker.  She was a risk taker when she opened the door.


She was a risk taker when she gave Mr Wintergarten the cakes.


She was a risk taker when she asked for her ball back.


And by being so open-minded (do you remember the bit where she told her friends that she didn’t believe anyone could be quite so mean and horrid?) and caring she had a profound effect on Mr Wintergarten.  After Rose had left, he did something he hadn’t done in a LONG while.  He opened the curtains.


After which he went out into the garden, flipped up his coat tails and kicked Rose’s ball (plus his own slipper!)…..


back over the fence.

To cut a long story short, this…..


is how it all ended.

And before this post ends, how about looking back at the very first picture from the story…..


and see how many differences you can spot.

1 comment:

  1. This was one of my favorite books as a child - one reason being that I shared my name with the main character. I'm glad others have found this, it's so cute! :)