Friday, 13 July 2012

Book of the week - A fairy tale by Mabel Lucie Attwell

Manty is the heroine of this delightful tale written and illustrated by Mabel Lucie Attwell. A rhyming story published by BB c1949.

The first nice thing to happen began with Mrs Duck, she asked them into breakfast - that was a piece of luck.

Breakfast done, they said "Good-bye" then wandered far and wide. Then they met a tall Giraffe, with Penguin by his side. "We're looking for adventure," cried Manty happ-i-ly! "What a very funny thing," said Penguin "so are we!" 

They wandered on together 'til Penguin shouted "Look!" There they saw quite close to them, a most unhappy cook! Crying for the apple pies she's made for master's tea. Sailor men had captured them and carried them to sea.

"Come!" cried Manty "after them - we'll find those apple pies." Then they saw an aeroplane - it came down from the skies. And to the coast it took them - Giraffe, a bit too tall, had to sit upon the roof - good thing he did not fall.

"Something wrong!" the airman said, such a splendid fellow. Down they came by parachute - Manty came by 'brella. 

Off they went by submarine - Giraffe was periscope - "We'll soon find those pies" cried Manty, full of hope.

I broke my own rule when buying this adorable book.
My rule? Don’t buy books repaired with TapeBut how could I resist? Anyway; the tape is only on the cover and spine edge (that’s me making excuses to myself!)

I made an offer. The bookseller promptly refused. I explained my rule about not buying books with tape repairs, and he explained his rule about not reducing his prices! So I walked away only to walk right back! We talked some more, and I ended up paying the asking price. I'm such a push over where books are involved!

I’ve come to the conclusion the tape really doesn’t matter as the illustrations are so enchanting. I especially like the Boo Boos (Mabel Lucie Attwell's name for pixies) and the little white dog.

This is such a fragile book, there can’t be that many around, so I think I made the right decision. But what about you would you have resisted?


  1. I'm wondering what books you own that you would never ever part with Barbara...

  2. barbaraannefisher13 July 2012 at 11:35

    Hello Kylie,
    Now that is a good question! I would never part with anything given to me by family or friends. I have a lovely author friend in Holland, who sends me a signed copy of each new book she writes – they are very precious to me, as are the books given to me by my grandsons.

    I would also never part with any of my Famous Fives, Secret Sevens or adventure series by Enid Blyton; I just love them. Same with the Kiddie Kut books, I’ve been collecting those for a while but still have lots to find. I’ve got something like 350 books illustrated by Rene Cloke, plus odd things that mean something to me - things like Rag, Tag and Bobtail, a battered copy of the Jack and Jill all colour gift book and lots more. I don’t have many books from my childhood, so I’m trying to replace them now. The trouble is ‘my’ shelves are beginning to house more than the ‘for sale’ shelves. That's the problem with loving books!

  3. I think he saw you coming here!!

    But seriously - if I really want something like you did in this case I would buy it regardless of the condition if I thought I was unlikely to find another copy. Any books I am replacing are very specific - they are all books that I especially loved during childhood but no longer have. Because I am buying them for their 'memory value' their condition is irrelevant (as long as the book is in good enough repair that I can see the illustrations properly.) I have no intention of re-selling them during my lifetime so their intrinsic value has no meaning to me.

    I've been eyeing a book on Amazon for a couple of weeks that I went on a hunt for lately - the spine is broken and the cover damaged so the price is only €5. So far no one else seems to want it and I'm really in a quandary as to whether I should get it or wait for one in perfect condition to turn up (that I probably couldn't afford!! )

  4. The illustrations are so bright and enchanting. I love the colors. I think you did the right thing because you left and came back. You gave yourself a little time to think and you still wanted it! Breaking rules every now and then isn't so bad. :)

  5. GardenOfDaisies13 July 2012 at 19:11

    I know what you mean about paper and tape. Ugh.... if people only knew how destructive that was. But this book.... oh my ... I LOVE her illustrations! It was worth going back for.

  6. Darlene Foster14 July 2012 at 03:37

    You made the right decision. What a delightful book!

  7. Tape or not- I would've bought it for the submarine/giraffe periscope page alone. :) Great find!

  8. barbaraannefisher14 July 2012 at 07:08

    Hello Sharon, Thanks for making me laugh I try so hard not to let sellers know I’ve fallen in love with something on their table – but they can always tell. It must be something to do with the way I gaze longingly at whatever it is that’s taken my fancy! Terry is for ever telling me to “put it down and come away” but that’s easier said than done!

    Re the book on Amazon, my head tells me you should wait for a better copy but my heart is shouting – go on, go for it! If you can find the sellers own site (if he or she has one) the book and/or postage charges might be cheaper. Sellers tend to put prices up on Amazon because of the horrendous amount of commission charged.

  9. barbaraannefisher14 July 2012 at 07:21

    Thanks Stephanie, I agree rules are to be broken – especially if they are to do with books!

  10. barbaraannefisher14 July 2012 at 07:30

    Yes, it’s a quick fix that looks OK for a short while but then the tape browns goes brittle and falls off leaving behind the most awful stains. I suppose without the tape the book would have disintegrated more and been thrown away, so some good came of it. The illustrations are really bright and joyful. I love her artwork too.

  11. These are adorable! :D Looks like a good buy - tape or no tape ;)

  12. barbaraannefisher14 July 2012 at 16:17

    Thank you Darleen, I think so too!

  13. barbaraannefisher14 July 2012 at 16:40

    That picture was what clinched it for me! It’s priceless. Thank you for calling in and leaving a comment.

  14. barbaraannefisher14 July 2012 at 16:52

    I hate tape on books, but I was willing to ignore it on this one. Thanks for calling in, glad you liked the pics.

  15. What gorgeous books. Sometimes I wish I were still a child so I could read them.

  16. barbaraannefisher15 July 2012 at 06:01

    I’m in my second childhood, so I have an excuse!

  17. Oh, how like you I wish I had more books from when we were kids - especially the Mabel Lucy Attwell ones! x

  18. barbaraannefisher15 July 2012 at 15:30

    Hello Sue, do you remember the bookcase that used to stand in our bedroom at home? I wonder what happened to all the Famous Fives and Secret Sevens wish we could go back in time and rescue them.
    In case anyone is thinking this is rather an odd comment – Sue is my big sister!

  19. Look at these pictures! I love them all! The illustrations tell the story so well too.

  20. barbaraannefisher17 July 2012 at 13:53

    They really do tell the story perfectly, this is one of those books where there is no need for words.

  21. No, I wouldn't have resisted.

    I quite often buy books in sick condition until I find a better copy, some I just have to 'rescue' from the Oppy, if I don't love them, who will.

  22. barbaraannefisher25 July 2012 at 21:32

    I knew you would feel the same way as me. Lots of collectors want perfect copies, and I understand that, but this one was just too pretty to leave behind.

  23. Have just seen this. I still have an original copy of this book which was the first book my mother used to read to me as a child. She says that I was only two when she read it to me first. If so my version must date from no later than 1946 (as I was born in August 1944).

    John Withrington

    1. Hello John,
      Thank you for that. It’s never easy trying to date books, but I'm happy to see I wasn’t too far out. How lovely to still have your original copy of this sweet book. Barbara


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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