Babbis Friis-Baastad Greta Walker - Essay

Greta Walker

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Mrs. Friis-Baastad presents [in "Don't Take Teddy"], with commendable directness, the wrenching problems of the family with a retarded child. Teddy, with a mental age of 2 1/2, has been lovingly protected by his parents and younger brother from the hostility and ridicule of outsiders. In the end a nurse specializing in retardation, whom the runaways meet on their journey, convinces the family that Teddy can be helped to find his own strengths—not by being shielded and kept at home, but by going to special schools that will develop, as much as possible, his mind and muscles. Although the plot is forced, the author does contribute to understanding in a neglected area. (p. 30)

Greta Walker, in The New York Times Book Review (© 1967 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), May 21, 1967.

Svein's burning but abstract desire for a "super horse" [in Wanted! A Horse!] involves him in a series of down to earth challenges…. Svein's impressionistically internalized emotions and the warmly diffused imagery of a Norwegian Christmas nurture a fragile atmosphere of growth, though sometimes threatened by uncertainties of tone and awkward syntax. It's more of a reverie about the changes people go through than a vicariously satisfying daydream about horses—likely to frustrate those searching for equine adventure, but to please readers who can follow the gently meandering prose through Svein's successive hopes and disappointments. (pp. 1256-57)

Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1971 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), December 1, 1971.