Wednesday, 24 September 2014



This was one of my favourite books as a child and I'd love to read it again. I can't think why it isn't better known today. Or is it? I only know boys who would think it was soppy!

It was in my classroom library - one very small bookcase, which didn't boast many books - so we read them again and again.

It's about a little girl who shrinks to visit her dolls in their house. They think she's their landlady and bombard her with complaints about the dolls' house food and all the things that don't work.

So I was delighted to spend this morning at the Museum of Childhood looking at some of the dolls' houses that will feature in this exhibition. Including one very superior house with real cake! (The exhibition will be free to get in.)

Remember Ballet Shoes?
    The Fossil sisters lived in the Cromwell Road. At that end of it which is farthest away from the Brompton Road, and yet sufficiently near it to be taken to look at the dolls’ houses in the Victoria and Albert every wet day, and if not too wet, expected to ‘save the penny and walk.’ Saving the penny and walking was a great feature of their lives.

The very same dolls' houses. Could it be a need for equity release to support their owners in dolly retirement that forced their removal from genteel South Kensington to their present less fashionable address in Bethnal Green?

(Nothing to do with dolls' houses - but have you tried this reading test? I scored faster than a college professor but I imagine that college professors might be reading something more intellectually taxing!)

5 comments:

Lucille said...

We had just such a classroom library shelf. I had read them all many times over. Except one. I could not and would not read Greyfriars Bobby.
I am surprised that your book is unknown to me but I will look it out. I have just acquired The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden. I thought it was wonderful as a child and now I can only see it from an adult's point of view and am horrified by the plight of an orphaned six year old so horribly neglected by the authorities!

callmemadam said...

Ha ha, I just took the reading test. How come students read faster than professors?

mary said...

I couldn't finish Greyfriars Bobby either, Lucille. My mum wept over it as a child but I never cared for animal books and still don't. She never got me to love Black Beauty either.

I read Rumer Godden's Dolls' House a few months ago. Quite a dark, unnerving ending. The Helen Clare series came later and the similarities seem more than coincidence - but it's a more gentler story.

Couldn't resist that test, Callmemadam. But I read at double the speed when I'm skimming for work than when I'm reading for pleasure, so not sure what we can take away from it except that 'average' seems so painfully slow that you'd never finish a book!

Magic Bean said...

Thank you for reminding me about this book. I loved it too. Wasn't there a string doll called jute in it too, or am I thinking about another book?
Off to do the test now...
Ax

mary said...

There was Vanessa and Jane, and Lupin who had knitted vest - can't remember a Jute.