Monday, July 12, 2010

cedar b hartley

the slightly true story of cedar b hartley (who planned to live an unusual life) by martine murray (allen&unwin)

i love this one. i love the gorgeous scrappy cedar b. it's been out for quite a few years now, but i sell at least one copy per week at work, and more and more little (and big) girls (and boys) have been equally delighted with her. cedar hangs around on smith st, she wanders down the merri creek, plays with her dog stinky, and makes friends with kite - the boy who can fly - and cares for all the people she knows (except perhaps mr barton and his son harold).

i love the way martine murray puts her words together, and the slow and quiet but magnificent thoughts she articulates through this positively delightful character.

'i liked it but i can't say why. perhaps because it was odd and small and quiet, not grand, and because it made you smile just a little inward smile, and the way it scratched at your mind, like a funny tickle. not a big one. it wasn't big, but it still made you wonder.' (p.140)

here is a list of the things in this book that tickle me:
- barnaby's postcards
- sweet carmella with the chubby knees.
- kite, the bird boy.
- the wobbly, thoughful oscar.
- the fab little sketches and "commonplaces" throughout.
- little scruffy stinky, cedar's dog.

and here is my own darling puppy dog, whom we named cedar b.

and here she is as a wee puppy!


  1. look at 'lil cedar b with her rolly puppy skin and cute lil face. arghhhhh kate i love your dog and your review of this, i agree completely.

  2. oh oh oh - I've never read that book (though know a little boy who would adore it and am now determined to find a copy) - but omg, your puppy!!!

  3. there are some drug references, and some kind of serious social and philosophical wouldn't recommend to too little a boy (maybe 10 years old?).
    i shall post pics of all the other dogs too soon...they are so cute.

  4. hi Kate,
    someone forwarded this to me. thankyou for your revies and support. It is so heartening to hear and absolutely delightful to think of there being a real live Cedar b choc lab out there. Weirdly she is exactly like Madge from the Henrietta series, who i once lived with. Since i never blog or post anything i'm not sure this will work and is actually by second and last try so here goes...
    warm wishes

    1. thanks so much for persisting martine! i'm so chuffed to hear from you. cedar b (the book) will always have a special place in my heart. (the dog will too)


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