A Kid for Two Farthings by Wolf Mankowitz

Six-year-old Joe is a curious little boy who asks many questions and who has a vivid imagination. Joe is living with his mother in 1950s East End London, where he is always surrounded by hard-working people. From his neighbour Mr. Kandinsky and the wrestler Shmule to the shop owner Mrs. Abramowitz, little Joe is accompanied by people who are very fond of him and who take good care of him.

As all of Joe’s acquaintances seem to need a little bit of luck in their lives, Joe brings home a unicorn (which is actually a goat) since he hopes that his ‘unicorn’ will fulfil his friends some wishes. Mr. Kandinsky needs a steam press for his shop and Shmule needs to buy a ring for his beloved Sonia. Joe and his mother also have a wish – to join Joe’s father in Africa. Will Joe’s ‘unicorn’ really be able to fulfil all these wishes?

A Kid for Two Farthings is a lovely book full of wonderful people who work very hard and who have humble wishes. Although they are very busy, Joe’s neighbours still make time for little Joe because the boy doesn’t really have anyone to talk to, since his father is away and his mother is working. Joe really likes to be surrounded by his neighbours, because he can ask them many questions and thus, he gets the attention he needs. In return, Joe wants to do everything in order to see his friends happy. That’s why he brings home a ‘unicorn’ – the little boy hopes that his new ‘pet’ will grant all of their wishes.

I really liked this touching book and I liked reading about little Joe. The little boy is very curious and has a great imagination. He believes in the magic of his ‘unicorn’ and he wants to help his friends and see them happy. Joe is very playful and inventive; he always wants to know everything and that’s why I liked him so much. I also liked the other characters, as they are all very friendly, humble and warm, despite the fact that their lives are hard. Mr. Kandinsky is a very great person and he is like a grandfather to Joe. When the little boy brings home his ‘unicorn’, Mr. Kandinsky doesn’t tell Joe the truth, because he sees how happy Joe is. Therefore, he lets Joe believe that his goat is a unicorn, which can grant wishes and make people happy. Mr. Kandinsky encourages Joe’s imagination and creativity and that’s why I liked him so much!

Overall, I must say that A Kid for Two Farthings was a great book, which I enjoyed very much. It’s a quick read and I recommend this adorable little book to everyone who likes to read books set in the past and to everyone who likes to read a heart-warming and hopeful story.



7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vivienne
    May 12, 2010 @ 15:24:07

    I really want to read all of these Bloomsbury books. The storylines are just beautiful and quirky and the covers are to die for! They are all quite quick reads too.


  2. Grad
    May 12, 2010 @ 19:06:21

    Another great post! Sounds like a good and easy read. I’ll have to see if my library has it. I’m interested in hearing what you think of Ms. Pettigrew Lives for a Day. I really want to read it this summer some time.


  3. Nymeth
    May 12, 2010 @ 19:51:54

    Methinks I should just add the whole Bloomsbury Group catalogue to my Christmas wishlist. I know it’s only May, but it’s good to think ahead 😉


  4. Kathleen
    May 12, 2010 @ 21:03:21

    It sounds like a book that leaves you with a wonderful feeling when you are finished. I need to read more stories like these instead of the depressing books that I tend to read sometimes!


  5. Lua
    May 13, 2010 @ 08:06:03

    A unicorn and wishes? Sounds like my kind of story 🙂
    This is why I like books which are about little children, the power of their imagination never fails to amaze me! Thank you for the great review Andreea.


  6. Aarti
    May 13, 2010 @ 20:30:37

    Aww, this sounds really sweet! Like Ana, I think I may just have to add all the Bloomsbury Group books to my wishlist. They seem really popular with everyone! I admit… I really, really would like to have a whole series of pretty matching pastel covers on my shelf, too.


  7. Andreea
    May 14, 2010 @ 13:33:26

    Thanks everyone! I really do hope that you will get the chance to read this wonderful book!


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