Emily and Jamie live near Hilltop Wood. Through Hilltop Wood runs Hilltop Stream, and the two children love to splash and play in its clear water.
One day, they discover the stream has become dark and dirty, and the otter they used to see has gone.
What can they do? This is the third enchanting story about Jamie and Emily's helpful Tomte friends, who help them make the stream sparkle again.
But will the otter return?
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 32 pages, colour illustrations
- Publisher: Floris Books
- Publication Date: 23/01/2014
- Category: Picture storybooks
- ISBN: 9781782500452
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Review by AbigailAdams26
The Tomtes of Hilltop Wood return in this third picture-book, as Emily and Jamie, the human children who called upon their aid in defeating developers and factory farmers in previous adventures, once again confront an ecological catastrophe. This time the problem is water pollution, as the children find their favourite spot on Hilltop Stream - a lovely little swimming pool once frequented by a shy otter - dirty and filled with rubbish. Immediately seeking out Lichen, their special Tomte friend, the children ask for aid in putting the situation right, and all pitch in to clean up the pool. Lichen discovers in the process that the local factory has been allowing waste to run into the stream, and vows to make a special delivery to the factory letter box, complete with some green ooze. In the meantime, a heavy rain washes the last of the pollution away, and life returns to the stream...Following upon <u>The Tomtes of Hilltop Wood</u> and <u>The Tomtes of Hilltop Farm</u>, this third eco-fable from Brenda Tyler once again pits those diminutive Scandinavian gnomes, together with their human allies, against the forces of environmental destruction. "Do you know the Tomtes? They live in the woods, but are rarely seen - and never by grown-ups. They understand the ways of nature and how wild things live," the narrator of <u>The Tomtes of Hilltop Stream</u> informs the young reader, emphasizing once again the role of the Tomtes as stewards of the land and protectors of its creatures. This interpretation seems in line with more traditional ideas about these creatures - although less overtly didactic, the Tomten in Astrid Lindgren's picture-books also cares for the animals and the land, albeit more in a pastoral than sylvan capacity. That said, I tend to find Tyler's Tomtes a little less mysterious than I would like, and her stories do not have that same sense of enchantment as Lindgren's, or Viktor Rydberg's. As with previous adventures, the ecological difficulties presented here were far too easily overcome - rivers and streams can make remarkable recoveries, but usually not overnight - although I appreciate the spirit of the tale. Recommended to young readers who enjoyed the first two stories about the Tomtes of Hilltop Wood, and to anyone looking for contemporary fairy-tales with an ecological theme.