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Posts tagged ‘Old Favourites’

Sometimes – Some Thoughts

Okay so this post will be a little different. Not a book review or a link in to a film to be found. Not really.

Sometimes things in life happen and though you may have a pile of unread books staring at you from over burdened bookshelves you really just need to sink into the embrace of a beloved old favourite.

That is where I happen to be at the moment. My daughter and I have just started reading Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic Quartet together and I found once I started I couldn’t put them down. So I’m sorting of reading them twice at once. Once with her and once at a much faster pace for myself. Sure I’ve read them before, more than once, but so what?


I just love the stories of Sandry, Triss, Daja and Briar. I love to sink into the world created by Pierce. It’s like wrapping a favourite blanket around yourself or putting on your favourite pair of jeans. There are time when escape into the familiar is a very welcome option.

I have several series’ that I love to reread, several authors whose books are in various states of imperfection due to the number of times they have been reread. If whoever I had lent my copy of First Test to had given it back that is probably where I would have started with my munchkin but I obviously need a new copy of that, which will take some time but that’s fine because I have plenty of other books I’m more than happy to revisit.

Is there any author or book you love to revisit?

The Famous Five

By: Enid Blyton

Illustration by Quentin Blake

ISBN : 9781444908657

George is used to being alone. A girl who would prefer to be a boy doesn’t want cousins she’s never met before ruining her holidays. Julian, Dick and Anne are excited to be meeting George and before long they help her realise company can be fun.

There is a shipwreck off Kirrin Island, a legend about missing treasure, a map and a mystery. If only the cousins and George’s faithful dog TImmy can keep on the right side of Uncle Quentin, maybe they will get to the bottom of it all.

Illustration by Helen Oxenbury

ISBN: 9781444908664

Back at Kirrin Cottage for the Christmas holidays, the five are sure there won’t be any time for adventure, not with three of them having to study with a tutor. Then they hear a tale of secret passages and find a mysterious map. Added to that it seems there is a thief at Kirrin Cottage. That’s not all, George doesn’t like their tutor but then she doesn’t like anyone who doesn’t like Timmy. The question is why doesn’t Timmy like the tutor?

Illustration by Emma Chichester Clark

ISBN: 9781444908671

Holidays at Kirrin are supposed to be a fun time but that is a little hard with Mrs Stick and her horrid son around. Things take a turn for the worse when George’s mum gets taken to hospital and Mr Stick turns up. With such a difficult situation to deal with the cousins think there is someone up to something on Kirrin Island. How are they going to find out what is going on? Then George has a plan and they may be on the trail of smugglers. Who was that screaming? And what do the Stick’s have to do with any of it? The five find themselves entangled in another mystery.

Illustration by Oliver Jeffers

ISBN: 9781444908688

Kirrin Cottage is badly damaged in a terrible storm, so the five are shipped off to stay at Smugglers Top with a scientist friend of Uncle Quentin’s. Fortunately his son Sooty is friends with the boys and it looks as though it will be a fun time. How could it not be when they are staying at a place filled with secret hiding places and underground tunnels. Of course a place such as this was designed for adventure and they find one. What is the mysterious signal from the tower and what is going on with Block?

Illustration by Chris Riddell

ISBN: 9781444908695

The cousins convince the adults to let them go caravanning and they decide to follow the circus that inspired the idea. They have a wonderful time picnicking and staying in fields. When they find the circus, Nobby is happy they followed but some of the other circus folk aren’t as pleased. The five don’t mind, when threatened they simply move a short way away so they can still enjoy the location and spend time with their new friends, Nobby and the ape Pongo. It starts out like any normal kind of holiday but Lou and Dan are up to something, the five know it and they simply can’t turn their backs on an adventure.

Book 13 in the series and one of my faves

This series is considered a children’s classic. My confession here is that as a young kid they were some of my favourite books, I devoured them. They still hold a special place in my heart and I want to share them with my kids, hopeful they will enjoy them too.

These stories are still loved today, they hold a timeless appeal especially for children longing for stories filled with mysteries and adventure. What’s not to love about four kids and their loyal dog, solving mysteries, finding treasure and foiling the bad guy’s plans?

The style is very innocent, ‘it’s all simply swell’, unfortunately it is also a little dated. Some children will love these, they will be the ones who can see past the ‘gollys’ and such and even treat it like a kind of escapist fantasy (seriously 11-14 year olds allowed to take off in horse drawn caravans by themselves for weeks at a time?). Probably not the books to go for if you are trying to get a reluctant reader to read but revisiting all these years later I still think they have something to offer. In a time where so much is pushed at our children it doesn’t hurt to go back to more innocent times.

The versions I have featured here are the beautiful 70th anniversary covers designed by five wonderful children’s illustrators. I am so happy to add them to my bookshelf.

(I received mine from the publisher but mostly because even 30 years later I can tell you without looking the first sentence from the third book, ‘”George dear do settle down and do something,” said George’s mother.’ And know I don’t know why that has stuck with me for so long.)

Tintin – Movie Trailer

Well it’s almost here for us. A movie of favourite character Tintin, presented to us by the talented hands of Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson.

It will be interesting to see what the end result is but for now here is the trailer…

Mall Madness

By: Carolyn Keene

Illustrated By: Macky Pamintuan

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series bk 15

It is time to go shopping for new school supplies so the Clue Crew is heading to the mall. George is super excited about the new computer displays and runs off while Nancy is shopping for shoes. The Pencil Box is one of their favourite shops but before the girls can choose even one notebook it looks as though they have another mystery to solve. Nancy’s neighbour, Rodger, is working his first day at the Pencil Box and it’s not going so well. There is money missing from the register and all evidence seems to point to Rodger, who was in charge of the register. Nancy doesn’t believe Rodger is the thief but she needs to follow the clues and check out all the suspects.

The original Nancy Drew books were a childhood favourite of mine, I still have my copies (in a box somewhere as a result of our last house move). The Clue Crew books have the same three girls; Nancy, George and Bess though much younger, solving mysteries. The mysteries are age appropriate and the style of writing is great for early chapter book readers. The girls already have very distinctive personalities and if you’ve read the other books these will be familiar. A solid alternative to the many fairy books, definitely worth looking at if you have a reader interested in something other than dancers, fairies and animals.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Published: 22 August 2008

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: General Crime

ISBN 13: 9781416959007

Purchase: here

The Red Trailer Mystery

By: Julie Campbell

Trixie Belden Series bk 2

Jim Frayne has just inherited half a million dollars but he doesn’t know about the money because he has run away again, hoping to avoid his step-father. Trixie and Honey are off on his trail. They want to find him to tell him the good news and offer him a proper family.

No matter that she already has one mystery to solve, Trixie has a way with just attracting more. She knows something isn’t right when they meet up with another family traveling in a luxury trailer like them, she just doesn’t know what. Then the daughter Jo goes missing and they find out the trailer The Robin, has been stolen. Trixie is determined to figure out what is really going on. Now Trixie and Honey are looking for two missing people, but it may not be as difficult as it seems.

These books are, of course, a little dated but values and descriptions like that aside the stories hold up alright. The characters complement each other and balance the story out. Trixie and Honey are both passionate and fun, with Honey being the gentler personality toning Trixie’s wilder impulses. Jim brings a maturity to the group. With so many things to figure out the Trixie Belden books were, and I think still are, fun adventure stories.

Publisher: Random House USA Inc

Published: 06 August 2004

Format: Hardback 272 pages

Categories: Crime

Purchase: here

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