Wednesday, the 19th of August, and time once again for Shelf Control! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and is all about the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, and such. If you participate, link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!
This week my pick is a children’s book by one of my favourite authors (this you’ve probably noticed by now) Enid Blyton. Well, Really Mr Twiddle, first published in 1953, is one of three books featuring the character Mr Twiddle (according to the Goodreads listing), though I know that some short stories featuring him also appear in other, mixed short-story collections, which is where I first came across him. The stories are of course, intended for younger readers!
Mr Twiddle is not a magical creature like some of Blyton’s other such characters (like Mr Meddle the pixie, or Mr Pink Whistle who is half brownie), but a man. He is in fact a very kind old man, with the best of intentions, but he is also very absent-minded which gets him into a series of scrapes, and he ends up doing some very silly things indeed. The story that I remember him from (one I read as a child) was one where his wife is ill in bed with the flu, and asks him to do the errands including fetching and cooking some fish for dinner and picking up her shoes (from the cobbler perhaps?-this I don’t remember exactly). But as things turn out, he fetches and puts away the fish in the cupboard (the cat keeps trying to get at it, and poor Mrs Twiddle can’t work out why) and cooks the shoe for dinner!
Well, Really Mr Twiddle is a short story collection like the other books featuring him, and has fifteen stories, each of which were individually published in Sunny Stories magazine between 1945 and 1952. From the names, the stories involve Mr Twiddle cutting grass, going for a walk, going shopping, making a ‘Christmas mistake’, and getting a surprise among other things, which will very likely involve a fair share of new scrapes. From the sound of these, and my experience of having ‘met’ Mr Twiddle before, I’m sure these will turn out to be pleasant, silly fun, and I’m very much looking forward to reading them.
Do you enjoy rereading old childhood favourites like these? Or rather more stories featuring characters whom you liked as a child? Or were they best enjoyed back then? Which ones are some of you favourites? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!
Cover image as always from Goodreads; and the older one from the Enid Blyton Society (here)