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Suncottage Mon 30-May-11 22:08:39

Any Noel Streatfield fans?

Where is the child fiction thread on MN?

swanriver Mon 30-May-11 22:13:16

I loved it. I read it again the other day. Awful Aunt Claudia, and all those hardworking brothers Harriet has... Never having skated properly there was a charm to all the technical stuff too - intergold, intersilver that sort of stuff.

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:13:45

Oooooh yes!
Lala was v spoilt but came out alright in the end
I loved the word "embassadress" which is what her aunt thought she would grow up to be. Hmmm. Best laid plans.

I always wondered why I had not one in my acquaintance who had a governess at home and learnt ice skating

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:14:50

Swanriver
Yes, but i always felt puzzled (like Nana is, in the book smile ) by "brackets"

BooBooGlass Mon 30-May-11 22:15:45

Oooo yes I adore Noel Streatfield. I reread this recently. I cannot wait until my dd can be passed down all my old ones, Ballet Shoes was my absolute favourite, it was my grandma's, then my mums, then mine. I still remember the night my mum gave that book to me, and it;s been reread many times since smile

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:20:03

Well, Ballet Shoes of course goes without saying. it is a classic.

I have already read ir to my 4 yo and she loves it. She wants to be known as Pauline and has started calling her baby sister Posy. Occasionally, i have to play the role of Mrs Simpson. She has asked for a string of pearls, per Petrova, for her birthday. I am delighted.

But what about the lesser known titles? I still love The Growing Summer and think it is cracking.

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:21:48

Oh, just seen your name, Booboo. We must have very similar taste in fiction. Top of my list of names for boys were:
Seymour
Jerôme
Zachary (vetoed by DH for being downmarket)

We only have girls so far.

BooBooGlass Mon 30-May-11 22:22:03

The Painted Garden. LOVED it and I must dig out my copy. In fact, I may have read that one more than Ballet Shoes even. I got it for pence at a church jumble sale when I was about 8 or 9

BooBooGlass Mon 30-May-11 22:23:21

I am avoiding naming my dc after fictional characters as it would be too much for them to live up to! I just couldn't label a boy Zooey as much as I would want to. Again, a book my grandma passed down to me. I really should call her more often blush

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:25:28

Yes! Painted Garden is fab.

The train journey across America was really evocative of another era.

Peaseblossom was such a sensible egg. I was so embarrassed for her in New York when she asked the policeman for help finding a cafe and he more or les blanked her. smile

I loved that Jane was plain and not skinny but the real star, in terms of the film of the Secret Garden but also the book itself. She was a fascinating character, not dissimilar to George in the Famous Five but more rounded. She even had a much loved dog, Chewing Gum, to match Timmy.

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:26:41

Booboo
I wanted Frances for Dd1 but it does not work with our surname, so Dd1's first dolly was named Frances / Franny.

Suncottage Mon 30-May-11 22:26:41

It is a 'tad' dated in parts with the ;

'Guzzle, guzzle, guzzle
Quack, quack, quack.

Not quite up to date.

What was wrong with Harriet? TB? I also like the outdated comment of;

Harriet's father said;

'Though he had only two he offered the doctor a cigarette' the doctor declined and said 'he would prefer to smoke his own'.

Would never be heard in a child's book today smile

BooBooGlass Mon 30-May-11 22:27:26

O yes chewing gum, who had to be left behind! I do wonder how much of it will go over the next generations head though. It's a real shame. Haven't they tried to update the Blytons a little for a modern audience? It just doesn't work (and I hate Blyton anyway)

LawrieMarlow Mon 30-May-11 22:27:52

I once found a copy of The Painted Garden that made me realise my "original" copy had been abridged. Can't remember if I still have the unabridged one though.

I love Apple Bough with Myra the truely great one in a family of musical brothers and sisters. And Ballet Shoes for Anna and Curtain Up. And many others too <plans Noel Streatfeild reading fest>

There is quite a split on ebay between Streatfeild and Streatfield which can sometimes be advantageous.

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:28:33

Yes, lots of stuff you would not get in chikdren's fiction today.

Remember in Ballet Shoes, Nana says of Petrova: "let's hooe this one's got brains because it's easy to see who'll be miss plain in my nursery"

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:29:28

Hope not hooe

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:31:06

Ballet shoes for anna was too tragic for me.

Strange, because i love Ballet shoes which is equally tragic viz orphans

But the children's lives just seem so bleak and real in BSFA

BooBooGlass Mon 30-May-11 22:32:47

I remember not understanding a lot of stuff in Ballet Shoes when I first rea dit at maybe 7 or 8. Like the Kuala Lumpur stuff about rubber growing in trees, what the 'license' was about, even what a stye was when poor Winnie got one. Everything dates though. I've been rereading all my Judy Blumes blush and they just scream 80s

BooBooGlass Mon 30-May-11 22:33:38

Did you see the TV version with Victoria Wood? I hated that they changed so much of it.

Suncottage Mon 30-May-11 22:37:56

The Wolves of Willoughby Chase?

I loved Joan Aiken also

And 'The Ogre Downstairs'

I know what JK Rowling read as a child. grin

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:38:32

Petrova is the one who gets the stye on the day of the audition smile

Yes, my dd clearly does not get it all (sovereigns /guineas, Puck's speech, the m'audition thing etc) but she clearly, clearly loves it and is fascinated by it. But then tonight she asked for Mrs Large for her bedtime story, so she covers all literary bases! smile

LawrieMarlow Mon 30-May-11 22:38:41

I did - was sitting at the screen going "That's Not Right".

But quite enjoyed it all the same grin

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:39:14

I adored Midnight is a Place

Reread it last year. It stands up smile.

Greythorne Mon 30-May-11 22:40:53

I did not get all the references as a child either, now i think about it, but it seemed to show a bigger, complex world that I wanted to know about.

elkiedee Tue 31-May-11 11:56:38

There is a children's section but it seems to be much more effective to post in the Adult fiction section for all the books you read for your own pleasure.

The only children's Noel Streatfeild I've reread recently is Ballet Shoes but I plan to read the others, maybe when I've completed my Joan Aiken read/reread (there were some books in the Wolves of Willoughby Chase series which came out after I'd allegedly grown up).

I have been rereading a lot of my other old children's books too.

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