The Book Girl’s Gourmet Literary Guide 文学少女 Section 1

Translator: Pudding321
Below is a series of books out there the Book Girl Tohko Amano has eaten, and her appraisal of each book (taste-wise).
Tptrishula’s notes: Below is only a small sampling thus far. Though if I can eat books, my nearest library will close down.
Jam-filled Cookies: The Secret Garden
Romantic Rose-coloured Jam, Sweet and Sour
Author: Frances Hodgson Burnett
Illustrator: Jillian Tamaki
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Amazon: http://waa.ai/442J
Mary, born in British India, grew up lonely and unloved, for her father is an official, and her mother a social butterfly. One day, her parents suddenly passed away. The servants left the house, leaving her alone in the house, shortly, before being discovered and taken by her only relative, her uncle.
Since her uncle’s wife decease ten years ago, her uncle have been on a trip for most of a year, and have thrown away all the keys of the house except for the ones to the two rooms that are still being used. There is a garden in the court surrounded by walls on four sides, and her uncle has locked the only door to enter it.
By coincidence, Mary finds the key to this secret garden, and at the moment she puts it back to where she found it, she hears a noise. Having entered the forbidden corridor, she hears the crying of a child.
Published in 1911, The Secret Garden is Burnett’s best piece of children literature.
Read it. Know it.
Burnett is the main female writer of children literature from the 19thcentury to early 20thcentury. In Europe, many children that have become fine ladies and gentlemen grew up reading her works.
In addition, during the late 19thcentury, children’s innocence is thought as the God’s will as well as the goal humans strive for. Read this story, and you will find pureness in children can resolve adult conflicts and bring back the kind of happiness we all yearn.
Tohko’s Taste
(While she is eating a jam-filled cookie…)
The Secret Garden tastes like jam-filled cookies! The rose-coloured jam, sweet and sour, is very romantic.”
Author’s Biography
Frances Eliza Hodgson Burnett

1849 – 1924. Children’s writer. She is born in England with her five brothers, she being the third in age. When she was fifteen, she moved to America. In 1868, her first story, “Hearts and Diamond’s” was published in a magazine aimed at females. Since 1887, with her house at England, she moved regularly between England, America, and Italy.
Volume of Appearance: Book Girl and the Captive Fool (V3)
Red Tea Cookies: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
A good aromatic teatime friend that will refine your taste
Author: Lewis Carroll
Illustrator: John Tenniel
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Amazon: http://waa.ai/44nU
Alice, though on a picnic, is bored by her older sister who is doing nothing but reading a book. Seeing a rabbit in a horizontally cut piece of clothing, she follows it and falls into a rabbit hole. The hole is long, and along her way, she sees many weird doors against the interior of the hole. Down there, she finds a key to a door, but she cannot crawl through since the door is too small. Then she sees a bottle written ‘DRINK ME’, and after drinking it, she shrunk. She is small enough now, but the key, the thing she most needed, is on top of the table, beyond her reach. This time she eats a cake written ‘EAT ME’, grows, and shoots way up to the ceiling.
Henceforth the story ensues: falling in the pool of her own tears; meeting a dodo bird and the grinning chesire cat; falling into the tea party with the March Hare and the Mad Hatter; going to the Queen’s Croquet Ground and challenged by the Queen of Hearts…
Read it. Know it.
In the summer of 1862, Caroll, brought the three eldest daughters of the Dean of Christ Church—twelve-year-old Alice, Lorina, and Edith—to the River Thames to have a picnic. The idea of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandwas drawn on those three sisters.
In this seemingly nonsensical and childish story, where ridiculous logic stands and wordplay goes all over the place, deep within you can find the criticisms and satire of education and mankind.
Tohko’s Taste
(While she is crunching the tealeaf of red tea as if it was a cookie…)
I guess this is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.While others say this is just a bit tasty, I think this has the best taste ever!”
Author’s Biography
Lewis Carroll

1832 – 1898. English mathematician, writer, and poet. His original name is Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. In 1851 he began studying in Christ Church College in Oxford. After that, he became a Mathematics lecturer in that college. Since 1854 he has submitted poems and stories to magazines.
Volume of Appearance: Book Girl and the Captive Fool (V3)

Fresh Fruits: The Three Travelers
Sweet Cut Openings of a Fruit and Various Natural Gems

Author: John Aiken
Illustrator: Kevin Hawkes
Publisher: Yearling
Amazon: http://waa.ai/442F
There was once a little tiny station in the middle of a huge desert. Three people worked in the station: Mr. Smith the signalman, Mr. Jones the porter, and Mr. Brown the ticket-collector. They were the only people in the station. Without the bustling of passengers and the troubles children make, they lived in the station peacefully and happily.
However, they were not really satisfied, for there had yet any passenger to drop off at this station. In their last fifteen years, the signals had never been used, tickets had never been clipped, and not one luggage has been carried.
One day, they came up with an idea—“Let’s become travelers!”
Saving up money and using it for a week’s holiday, Mr. Jones set off eastwards. Mr. Brown clipped his first ticket, and Mr. Smith used his signals to stop the train. Mr. Jones visited a big city and told the other two, when he had come back, how developed the city was. The next one to set off was Mr. Smith, who headed off westwards. Mr. Jones and Mr. Brown took care of Mr. Smith’s work while he was away. Having seen mountains and sea for the first time, Mr. Smith came back with stories, shells, and crystal rocks. Finally, Mr. Brown set off. To the east? To the west? Or elsewhere?
Read it. Know it.
Primary school textbooks adapted this story, so a lot of people should know of this story. It is up to the reader to interpret Mr. Brown’s choice and his henceforth gain.
Tohko’s Taste
Novellas are fresh and delicious!”
It’s like a fresh fruit: an orange with golden fresh bursting out, a refreshing citron, or gem-like muscats. When you crunch it in your mouth, you can savor the cold fruit juice overflowing within!”
Author’s Biography
Joan Aiken

1924 – 2004. Children’s writer. Born and raised up in England. In 1961, her made her first debut with “The Kingdom and the Cave”. In 1972, she won an Edgar Allan Poe Award for “Night Fall”.

Volume of Appearance: Book Girl and the Famished Spirit (V2)
French Toast: The Clever Princess
Marmalade jam spread copiously on bread
Author: Diana Coles
Illustrator: Ros Asquith
Publisher: Sheba Feminist
Amazon: http://waa.ai/4apS
Princess Arete lived with her father who was very fond of jewels. Having a love for books, Princess Arete had finished reading all the books in the kingdom when she was fifteen. The people described her beautiful and clever.
Although Princess Arete were good at riding horses and dancing, she was bad at speaking in her lessons. When her teacher asked her, “Is this really true?” or “”Please talk more about this. I am all ears.” She replied only with, “This is what I think,” or ”This is all I have to say.”
Princess Arete’s father was shocked when he knew her daughter was referred as ‘clever’. Man sought for gentle and adorable wives, never clever ones. Knowing that the more word spread about the cleverness of her daughter, the more difficult it was for her to become married, her father hastily searched for suitors.
The suitors came one by one. Some flaunted about their accomplishments, others crafted glamorous words, but none pleased or touched the princess. She told them to shut their foul mouths, and they quickly ran away. The last suitor to come was a wizard. He gave her father jewels that allowed him to take the princess to his own castle. There, he told the princess that he would kill her if she didn’t figure out the solution to three problems. It was only an excuse to kill her and escape his own death, for he was once prophesied that the princess would kill him.
And thus the princess embarked on a journey to solve these three problems.
Read it. Know it.
The Clever Princess is called Princess Arete (アリーテ姫 Arite Hime)in Japan. It is a fairy tale Diana Cole, a British writer, released on 1983.
Fairy tales like Cinderella, Snow White, or Sleeping Beautyall situate the heroine as the receiving end of the story. All they need to do is to wait for their prince charming to come and give them a happy-ever-after. They are objectified as the prize for princes who could adventure and solve problems.
Children who grow up reading these stories will likely be inculcated with messages such as ‘females only have to be the receiver’ or ‘they could live well depending on men’. In the seventies, European and American feminists who were afraid of the negative effects brought by these fairy tales decided to create a new line of feminine fairy tales. This piece of work is brought to life in light to such revamped thinking.
Tohka’s Taste
(She eats a French toast spread with marmalade jam.)
Sweet. This toast tastes like The Clever Princess.”
Volumes of Appearance: Book Girl and the Sickly Chloe, Book Girl and Falling in Love Episode 1


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