Early One Morning   Import  Single ASIN  Import  Multiple ASIN ×Product customization Go Pro General Description Gallery

(5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Join a boy on his hunt for breakfast around the farm in this charming picture book from bestselling author Mem Fox and award-winning illustrator Christine Davenier.

About the Author

Mem Fox (Author)
Mem Fox has written more than 40 books for children, including the bestselling and much-loved picture books
Possum Magic and Where is the Green Sheep? Other books by Mem include Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Hunwick’s Egg, Hello Baby!, A Giraffe in the Bath, Koala Lou, Baby Bedtime and Roly Poly. In 2019, The Tiny Star was released to great critical acclaim from the Australian Book Industry, and March 2021 will see the release of another new picture book, Early One Morning.
Mem has been presented with an array of book awards, and was awarded an AM for services to the cultural life of Australia in 1993.
Mem lives in Adelaide and is a retired Associate Professor of Literacy Studies from Flinders University, South Australia.

Christine Davenier (Illustrator)
Christine Davenier is the illustrator of many books for children, including the Iris and Walter series by Elissa Haden Guest and
The First Thing My Mama Told Me by Susan Marie Swanson, which was named a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book.


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5 reviews for Early One Morning   Import  Single ASIN  Import  Multiple ASIN ×Product customization Go Pro General Description Gallery

  1. MS


    Another glimpse into the history of an European country under occupation by the Nazis during the Second World War, but with some good fiction in the mix.

  2. Deborah Cook (@ Debbish dot com)


    Early One Morning is Virginia Baily’s second novel. It’s one I wasn’t sure would appeal but I was ultimately won over by the delightfully headstrong female leads who I hoped would get their ‘happily ever after’.The book is well written and offers a sense of hope and positivity, despite its often-tragic subject matter.Chiara is a delightful character and although she doesn’t come across as the passionate or affectionate type, she clearly falls in love with the boy she raises. As an ageing woman she’s witty, feisty and pragmatic all at once.When we meet Maria she’s a typical 16yr old living in Cardiff with her family until she discovers her real father was an Italian man her mother met while on holidays. I was struck by the fact that Maria’s acting out (on discovering her heritage) was very much the same as her father’s when he discovered his own.Although I wasn’t tempted to devour this book, I enjoyed it and appreciated Baily’s obvious passion for Italy.Read the full review on my blog: http://www.debbish.com/books-literature/early-one-morning-by-virginia-baily/

  3. Lynette Grae


    A beautiful captivating human interest story….gets you in right from the start. The ending was a little short and abrupt……I was wanting more to the story by time I reached the last 2 chapters. Highly recommended tho.

  4. Ralph Blumenau

    Well written, but too many loose ends and too diffuse
    There are three main characters in this novel: Chiara Ravello, Daniele Levi and Maria Kelly.In October 1943, during the German occupation of Rome, Chiara was in the largely Jewish quarter of Rome (the former ghetto) on ome Resistance work. There she witnessed the Jews of the quarter being rounded up for deportation. Among them was a woman who pushes Daniele, her seven year old son, towards her and mutely appealed to her to take care of him. Instinctively, she took the struggling boy, showed the Germans her non-Jewish papers, persuaded them that he was her nephew, and took him home with her.She became fond of him; but he would have many problems. For the first three years he was an elective mute; then he became a difficult teenager; then he became a drug addict and a thief to pay for his drugs – he stole even from Chiara.Chiara had a friend, Antonio, who was a priest; and Antonio ordered him to leave, and Daniele went to Ostia. There is no explanation why Daniele did his bidding, either then or later, when Antonio said he would not facilitate his return home, even when Daniele had become clean of drugs. After that Daniele left Ostia and Antonio lost touch with him. Chiara, who did not see Daniele for ten years, missed him terribly, but eventually accepted that she would not see him again and thought he might even be dead.In 1973, Maria Kelly, a sixteen-year old girl living in Cardiff, saw part of a correspondence between Chiara and Enid in which Daniele was mentioned, and when she asked her mother who Daniele was, Enid told her that Daniele was her biological father: Enid had met him in 1956 in Rome where she had been an au pair nanny, and she had assumed that Daniele was Chiara’s lodger. Maria got in touch with Chiara and said she wanted to stay with her for a couple of weeks, and, in a weak moment, Chiara had agreed.When Maria arrived in Rome, Chiara side-stepped her enquiries about Daniele, and – another improbability – accepted being diverted into sightseeing and attending language classes. But in the end Chiara does tell her the truth and – yet another improbability – we are not told how Maria responded.I must not give away the ending.In the course of the novel, we are given the story of how, the day after Chiara had taken charge of the boy, she, her mentally handicapped and epileptic sister Cecilia and Daniele had left Rome for the home of Chiara’s grandmother in the mountains and of their lives there; how, still during the war, Chiara had left the grandmother’s house to return, with Daniele, to her own house in Rome, leaving Cecilia behind. (We don’t know what made her take that decision.)Apart from these several improbabilities and unexplained events, there are other drawbacks to this book. As is so often the case nowadays, this a novel which shifts constantly from one period to another. Often it is only after a page or two in a chapter that we learn in what period the chapter is set. There are also long stretches of the book in which the central story quite disappears. To give just two of many examples, there are several pages describing the details of Maria’s journey to Rome; and others about the effects of Chiara being injured in a road accident. All these are very readable, but seem to me to be distractions and to take up a disproportionate amount of space. So just three stars.

  5. TripFiction

    Novel set in Rome (“..strange, unfathomable winds that blow people one way rather than the other”)
    A layered story that threads its way through the streets of the Eternal City, from 1943 in the midst of war forward to the 1970s, two very different periods in the history of this beautiful and multifaceted metropolis.The book starts at a time of war. Fear pervades the citizens, the Germans have taken over the city and they are beginning to transport the Jews out of the Ghetto. Whilst one small family is being herded, Chiara seizes the opportunity to help counter the terrible events by offering to take and hide little Daniele Levi. As his family is wrested from their home, she ushers him away from the horrors of the Ghetto and takes him to her own home. And there they settle down to a life of family routine, with Chiara in loco parentis, protectively overseeing her small charge along with with Cecilia, her younger sister.But the little boy’s history and Chiara’s love and indulgence of him combine into a potent mix that sees him going off the rails as he grows into a young, attractive man. He takes her jewellery to pay debts, he becomes a drug user, he thieves. He absents himself for hours, and then days, and finally disappears altogether. Her friends keep an ear out for his whereabouts but Chiara has to move on with her life for her own sanity, surprisingly supported by Simone, her father’s lover.A parallel story is emerging in Cardiff where Maria learns that the father, who has been a parent to her for all her 16 years, is actually not her birth father. She learns that Daniele is in fact her father. Her shock at the discovery prompts her to seek out Chiara and eventually she is aboard the cross channel ferry heading for Rome, to live with Chiara and immerse herself in Roman life and find out more about who she is – and who Daniele was… and perhaps is….The backdrop of Rome through the seasons is voluptuously rendered, from Trastevere to Via dei Cappellari (where the cover photo is set), across the Campo de’ Fiori and right up to the Janiculum, where Daniele leaves notes for his family, tucked in and around the statue of Anita Garibaldi. Maria in Rome is riveted by the sensation of the city, simple acts like throwing open the shutters of a morning and imbibing the scene and sun as they penetrate the dark apartment, compared to the sensory disappointment of drawing the curtains back in dull Cardiff. It is a different life in Rome, a life full of vibrancy, heat, and antiquity – and as a reader you are part of the story. The city is realistically and evocatively rendered throughout: “A great expanse full of cars and coaches, traffic police, buses and darting people, and beyond them a huge white staircase leading up to a palace set in high, the ruins of more ancient buildings off to the side, other splendid domed buildings dotted about, an impossible-to-absorb extravagance of the ancient and the beautiful and the stuff of now, all thrown in together.” That definitely conjures up Rome for me!The story moves back and forth between time periods and this works effectively for the most part, although occasionally the narrative slides a little off centre, and meanders into descriptive detail and events that can be distracting. But the book’s storyline soon returns to riveting form. A ‘must read’ to explore Rome through fiction!The author talks to us about writing and Rome: http://www.tripfiction.com/novel-set-in-rome-strange-unfathomable-winds-blow-people-one-way-rather/

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