Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Milly Molly Mandy

Among my favourite childhood books are the wonderful Milly Molly Mandy stories by Joyce Lankester Brisley. Joyce was an illustrator and writer - her gentle Quaker-like stories followed the adventures of Milly Molly Mandy and her friends Billy Blunt and Little Friend Susan. Nothing much happened in their quiet village but every day was filled with new discoveries. Joyce's lovely black and white drawings simply begged young readers to color them in.

This is the map of the village that appeared in every book. These pages are from my 1936 copy of the first collection of stories. When I remember back to the books I loved as a child, maps were important - I loved a book that had a map in it. This map is particularly enchanting, drawn in Joyce's neat, precise style.

This is Milly Molly Mandy's family. Don't you love Joyce's homely characters?

In Milly Molly Mandy again, Milly-Molly-Mandy discovers a train carriage in a field. This was my favourite story because a traveller family moved into the carriage and made it their home.

A perfect example of Joyce's gentle but detailed illustrative style. The traveller woman sweeps out her new homeShe has put flowers in the window, hung a tea towel over the door and little puffs of dust are flying up as she sweeps.

Author/Illustrator Bio (from Haoughton Miffin):
Joyce Lankester Brisley (1896-1978) was born in Bexhill, England. Her first stories about Milly-Molly-Mandy were printed in 1925 in the Christian Science Monitor, and a collection appeared in book form in 1928. She wrote and illustrated six collections of stories about Milly-Molly-Mandy. The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook was published in the UK in September 1996. She also illustrated books by other authors, including the classic Ursula Moray Williams story, Adventures of a Little Wooden Horse.

Her stories continue to appeal to children - I read them to my granddaughter who was as enchanted with the simple little talesd and drawings as I had been.


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