Rennefarre: Dot's Wonderful Travels and Adventures
by Tamara Ramsey, translated by Malve von Hassell
published by Two Harbors
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: Standalone, YA/MG Fantasy, A to Z, 100 Books in a Year
Rennefarre: Dot’s Wonderful Travels and Adventures was originally written by Tamara Ramsey in 1941. While it has gone through many editions in Germany, Malve von Hassell has provided readers with the first English translation of this children’s fantasy.
On Midsummer’s Eve, Dot is upset about having to stay home and watch her siblings while her parents get to attend the bonfire. Thinking she can sneak out while her brother and sister sleep, Dot crawls through the meadows to the bonfire. However, along the way, a Rennefarre flower falls into her shoe, rendering her invisible to humans. While her family cannot see or hear her, she finds that she can hear and see animals and spirits. This ability leads on her a long, adventurous journey back into her own world as she tries to help as many as she can along her path.
Rennefarre has a very interesting concept, but it feels like some of the true magic may be lost in translation. Some passages flow nicely, while others seemed bogged down with explanations and simplistic wording. Monica Minto’s illustrations are a nice touch and provide a break to a rather long children’s tale. Some of the German editions were broken up into multiple volumes, and even though this version is translated from an abridged one, I cannot help but think it would benefit from being broken down into more sizeable chunks for a younger reader. The “Chronicle of Major Historic Events” and glossary at the end are very helpful, though.
Rennefarre: Dot’s Wonderful Travel and Adventures can make a great bedtime story, especially since the chapters are broken into many parts. Children will definitely enjoy Dot’s magical world.