The children have been devouring books ever since the Read to Rio reading initiative was launched at school. This is definitely a good thing but in the quest to keep T supplied with something other than the *shudder, spit* “Rainbow Magic” series I have been searching through my archive for some of my own childhood favourites. Enter the positively delightful “Milly-Molly-Mandy” by Joyce Lankester Brisley.
Just like Topsy and Tim, Milly-Molly-Mandy has adventures that are extraordinarily ordinary. These ordinary adventures are full of charm and contain an innocence that is quite delightful. The books (we have a series of three but I have just ordered a fourth) are full of short stories which could stand alone as a picture book as per Topsy and Tim (you heard it here first and I take full credit, but sadly none of the royalties, if you see them gracing the shelves in a bookshop near you). The books were originally illustrated by Joyce Lankester Brisley herself and are lovely, full of details that perfectly evoke the period in which the stories were written. A modern equivalent would be Allan and Janet Ahlberg’s “Peepo!” whose portrayal of ’40’s Britain is highly acclaimed.
Milly-Molly-Mandy is a little girl with “short hair, and short legs, and short frocks” who lives with her Father and Mother and Grandpa and Grandma and Aunty and Uncle in a “nice white cottage, with a thatched roof”. You can tell just through the use of the word ‘frock’ that these stories come from a time when it was safe, and normal, for a child to disappear off to the woods for the day and only come back, safely, in time for tea. A time when adults were ALWAYS Mr or Mrs. A time not only when a ball of string and a skein of wool cost a penny and sixpence but when a child could run to the shops, alone, and not be in danger of being run over as they crossed a busy road or mugged for the coins jingling in their pockets.
T has avidly read all three of my books and she has fallen for girl with short legs and the exceptionally long name, just as I did thirty years ago.
I am linking this post with the Mama Mummy Mum ‘Read with Me’ Linky.
June 27, 2016 at 5:05 pm
I loved Milly Molly Mandy as a child. Unfortunately my eight year old doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the stories. Hopefully she will at some point!
June 27, 2016 at 5:08 pm
Oh no! But I guess life would be boring if we all liked the same things… Maybe.
June 27, 2016 at 5:14 pm
Ooo I’ve not heard of this one, my girls are a tad obsessed with Rainbow Magic too!! Thanks for sharing this with #ReadWithMe
June 27, 2016 at 6:02 pm
I’ll do anything to get away from Rachel and Kirsty and the old ones are sometimes the best! x
June 28, 2016 at 10:14 am
Somewhere along the way these books have passed me by, but they sound like children’s classics.
June 28, 2016 at 10:27 am
I think that the combination of the simple stories and the lovely drawings do make them ‘classics’ that can be enjoyed again and again.
July 1, 2016 at 11:51 am
Ah how lovely to see a review of some old children’s books! I remember reading my mum’s old copies of Milly Molly Mandy, they are so lovely.
July 1, 2016 at 12:05 pm
Thank you, my daughter enjoyed them so much I have just found a 2nd hand one which I hadn’t read. Still as delightful today.