Advanced search

Can we have a 'Does Anyone Recognise this Book' thread?

(146 Posts)
deleted203 Mon 22-Oct-12 18:46:28

I know lots of us have vague memories (particularly me, as I get older) of much loved children's books we can't remember the title of. Thought we could post and see if anyone else can help.

I am desperate to know the name of a book I read in probably late 70s aged about 11-ish, that I only remember faintly.

There was a girl who went to stay with her aunt/godmother who was a witch and so were the rest of the village women, I think. I can't remember much about it except that her aunt upset the others (who I think were bad witches) and they were more or less trapped in their house being beseiged by the bad witches. There might have been ravens/crows involved. It would have been set in England.

Ring any bells anyone?

Elefant1 Tue 27-Nov-12 22:52:11

WednesdayNext yours is Jenny's adventure by Jean Gilder, I loved that book but had totally forgotten about it.
(is your name from the Jasper Fforde books, great books but very confusing)

mignonette Wed 21-Nov-12 10:04:57

That's it! Oh my, I am so happy. I have ordered a copy thanks to all your help. I was transported by any story about neglected little girls as a child and especially that one because it was so intelligently written.

Thank you thanks

RosieMBanks Tue 20-Nov-12 19:15:34

Yes, it's 'All But a Few' - just found it on the shelves. In 'More Than You Bargained For' a little girl called Ermine goes shopping near the British Museum 'where there are all sorts of odd small shops selling secondhand books and antiques'. There are descriptions of various objects....looks like the one!
Ages since I read Joan Aiken - thank you for the reminder!

RosieMBanks Tue 20-Nov-12 18:54:34

Mignonette - I think Elkie may be right that 'All But a Few' is the collection you are looking for. I have 'The Rocking Donkey' which is one of the 'All But a Few' stories in a collection called 'Shadows and Moonshine'.
A lonely little girl called Esmeralda lives with her neglectful wicked stepmother Mrs Mitching, and one day finds a shabby old rocking donkey at a jumble sale....does that sound familiar?
This link might be useful
This is an interesting thread!

mignonette Tue 20-Nov-12 14:33:21

Don't think it is Edith Unnerstad. My memories are of books aimed at the age 9+ with little or no illustration bar frontispieces to chapters/stories and different cover art.

But thank you. I'll keep on asking and looking.

mignonette Tue 20-Nov-12 14:31:05

I've just ordered the Joan Aitken anthologies mentioned by yourself and others elkie. Edith Unnerstad has a ring to it so am excitedly going to look into that.

Have had a wonderful time reading this thread and being reminded of books i had forgotten. I found old copies of 'Curdie and the Princess', 'Harold and the Purple crayon', 'The Phantom Tollbooth' and 'The Painted Garden' recently on my secondhand bookstore ferreting and am on the look out for American 'Dick & Jane' and British 'Janet & John' books now.

elkiedee Tue 20-Nov-12 13:02:20

Could the Scandinavian cake eaters have been from a book by Edith Unnerstad?

There are several Joan Aiken short story collections - All But a Few, A Small Pinch of Weather and The Harp of Fishbones were published by Puffin, I can't remember which collection your story is in but I'm sure I've read it (I'd guess All But a Few). A couple of years ago I acquired The Faithless Lollybird, the Winter Sleepwalkers and a couple more, also a collection of stories about Mark and Harriet whose lives were always being interrupted by bizarre magical stuff - it's nice to have the Armitage stories together but I do prefer the original books as the recent reprinted collection doesn't have the illustrations.

mignonette Tue 20-Nov-12 10:56:26


Thank you (thanks). That is the Joan Aitken book I'm sure. Not sure about the Bullerby Children but will have a look. Have a strong feeling that when I see the title, I'll instantly know...

DeWe Tue 20-Nov-12 09:48:46

Mignonette could yours be The Bullerby Children, also by Astrid Lindgren?

It's about 6 children and a younger one living close together, and the stories are told through one of the girls (Lisa, I think).
They do sort of "normal" things but they seem special because of the way they're told, I think. I liked them much better than her other more famous ones about Pippin.

I remember Lisa and her best friends deciding to run away like their grandad did, and oversleeping, and another where they find 6d on the way home from school and buy some condensed milk to eat.

Joan Aiken did have one group of short stories I think called "A small pinch of weather" I know dd1 got it out from the library at one point. I don't kno if she did any others.

AnnaBegins Mon 19-Nov-12 23:08:29

I need two finding!

1 - A book about a girl called Katie (I think) who is from the victorian era or so, and finds herself in modern (ish) America, in a barn belonging to a family with a girl about her age. They believe her weird story because she can accurately draw from memory her house, which they find a picture of in a book. She has a doll made to look like her, which she swaps with the American girl's raggedy ann doll, and they find a painting in a book of her and her family with the raggedy ann doll. There's an amusing bit where she looks in the fridge and is a bit worried about hot dogs! When they are trying to help her get home, and are in the barn, she can't go home until Joe, the dad who originally found her, walks into the barn, and I think the last line is, "It was the sunlight, and Joe".

2 - This is a real long shot. I read this in the school library aged 10, and I don't think it was meant for my age group! A girl lives with her mum, Bridie, and her Irish grandad lives in a caravan. He buys a horse, a racehorse colt I think, and they stable it in a railway tunnel by blocking the tunnel with straw bales. Then the local rich brothers from the big house, Dennis and Sam, find the horse (think it is on their land) but they help the girl to keep it and train it. Sam is in love with the girl, but she ends up with Dennis (or was it Derek?), there's a scene where she's sitting at Dennis' feet with him stroking her hair and Sam looking on awkwardly, before they go to bed together (I know, I was 10, I was shocked!) It ends with Dennis taking the horse to America to show jump with it, and the girl crying because she doesn't want them to leave (I always thought he was a bit abusive, taking over her horse then taking it away!) I read this book so many times, then the library had a sale and got rid of it.


timtam23 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:45:47

crossposted RosieM!

timtam23 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:45:17

splishsplosh could yours be The Winter of Enchantment by Victoria Walker?

RosieMBanks Mon 19-Nov-12 22:43:25

splishsplosh - It is 'The Winter of Enchantment' by Victoria Walker. The sequel is 'The House Called Hadlows'. They were out of print for ages, and second-hand copies were scarce and very expensive, but they have been republished by Fidra. Wonderful books!

mignonette Mon 19-Nov-12 22:24:13

I'm after a Scandinavian kids book about a little Swedish girl and her friends. There was lots of amazing (to me aged 9) descriptions of the cakes they ate.

It isn't Mrs Pepperpot or Pippi. I've had no luck I used to borrow it every week at my local library.

I also adored the yellow fairy book and also the orange and other colours.

I found Rumer Godden's 'The Diddakoi' last week which is such a wonderful book and am now trying to find a copy of a Joan Aitken short story collection. One of the stories was about a little girl who was neglected and there was a ?shop with a collection of weird and esoteric things and an old man running it (?). It isn't one of the more usual Aitken books-not 'Nightbirds in Nantucket'.

splishsplosh Mon 19-Nov-12 22:11:37

cleanandclothed - could your time slip one be A traveller in time by alison uttley?

splishsplosh Mon 19-Nov-12 21:29:37

and another one - i think there are 3 children - they come across a witch living in the woods. they each get a wish at some point i think - 1 boy chooses amazing strength which he has for 1 day, and he manages to catch a thief somewhere because of it. Wich might be called meg? but that might be completely wrong...

splishsplosh Mon 19-Nov-12 21:26:30

Does anyone know a book about a girl trapped in a castle by an enchanter.
A boy finds a magic mirror and is able to visit her through it - there are several other magical items to find before she can be rescued - an emerald which is hidden in a forest, a rose i think...
There is a magical cat in it too - called Mantari or something like that...

thewhistler Fri 16-Nov-12 21:28:58

What I love about the Strange Affair of Adelaide Harris is that the baby turns out to be Heathcliff in the last sentence.

WednesdayNext Tue 13-Nov-12 09:26:47

Thanks DeWe, it's not that one as it was definitely just one book, but I will have a look at those ones!

DeWe Tue 13-Nov-12 09:16:43

Is it Galldora?

She's a rag doll that has lots of adventures. My favourite was when she's left outside and a bird builds a nest in her arms. But I'm sure she gets left at the seaside at some point.

I think it was originally Children's Hour/Listen with Mother stories. The stories have individual chapters, some of which relate to each other, but all can be stories on their own.

There were a couple of books. The one I have is "The Galldora Omnibus". They're by Modwena Sedgwick.

WednesdayNext Mon 12-Nov-12 22:35:13

I don't know any of the books on here sad but I am looking for a childhood favourite of mine. It was a picture book about a ragdoll who gets left behind on a trip to the beach and tries to find her way home, but gets into all kinds of scrapes before someone picks her up, takes her home and makes her better again. I think she gets reunited with her owner at the end. Would love to find it to read to my little one!

StrawWars Mon 12-Nov-12 22:22:10

Thank you! Yes, it is one of the Inger Sandberg series. thanks

UnrequitedSkink Mon 12-Nov-12 18:09:19

KittyBump I think the book you're thinking of is 'Where it stops nobody knows' by Amy Ehrlich?

cleanandclothed Mon 12-Nov-12 12:37:28

Ooh and a time slip one about a girl at school who ends up watching Elizabeth being taken to the tower?

cleanandclothed Mon 12-Nov-12 12:35:37

Anyone know one about a dustcart that was used to pull a very important person? Can't remember much more than that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now