Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Milly-Molly-Mandy Books

I am so excited to have my first books reviewed for my new feature "On the Lowest Shelf Children's Book Reviews" I am going to start out with some of our favourites today. I hope you enjoy this new weekly feature on B&b ex libris!!

The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook and More Milly-Molly-Mandy
by Joyce Lankster Brisley
first published in 1928 and 1929
Children's Classic chapter books
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook and More Milly-Molly-Mandy are the first two books in a series of chapter books written by Joyce Lankester Brisley. She wrote her first one in 1928 and then continued on to complete a total of 4 Milly-Molly-Mandy books.

The main character Milly-Molly-Mandy is a girl who is practical, clever and sweet as well as exuding the qualities that are admirable in children. She lives in a nice white cottage with a thatched roof along with Father, Mother, Grandpa, Grandma, Uncle and Aunty. She has several friends, but Billy Blunt and Little Friend Susan are her every day companions. Sure they get into things, as all kids do, but they are ultimately honest, caring, kind and gentle to all those around them.

At our house, with our little boys (3 and 5 years old) we sit in the middle of the day and read a chapter from one of these two Milly-Molly-Mandy classics. The boys love the smart ink drawings and learning about Milly-Molly-Mandy. She has enough adventures to make even two little boys very interested. The book was written during a time when children played outside, made things with rocks, sticks and enjoyed themselves creating adventures and living in their imaginations. I love reading these books to my two boys because I want that to be inside them as well. That they would dream, imagine and just be kids.

Milly-Molly-Mandy is that they are extremely well written, as Joyce Lankester Brisley does not dumb down and do child speech, she says words such as "presently" and responds to adults as "Yes, sir" and "Yes, mam". The pages are filled with delightful illustrations. Not hasty low-quality art, but black and white drawings that hold vast amounts of vintage style charm. I have not one complaint about either of these books in any of the stories that we have read and my children don't either.

What do the kids say from On the Lowest Shelf?
An Interview with my 5 year old son, Jackson about Milly-Molly-Mandy

b: Do you like reading the Milly-Molly-Mandy books?
j: Yes!
b: Why? Can you tell me what you like about them?
j: Everything. They do fun things.
b: What is your favourite thing that they did?
j: When they made a tree house. Oh and the stamps story! (story in which M-M-M becomes pen pals with a relative her age in America and collects the stamps)
b:Should we get the next book now that we have finished the two we have?
j: Well, um I don't know. You have so many books already. Maybe for my birthday or something.
b: hahaha! Yes, maybe.

So in conclusion, it is obvious that this book wins the hearts of everyone picking books off The Lowest Shelf! I think every kid needs this one on their own shelf. Extremely recommended.

What are your kids' favourite classic chapter books? Do you read these oldies, or would you rather go a-la-modern? No right or wrong answers, I just like to chat books :)


Marg said...

I remember reading the Milly Molly Mandy books when I was a kid, and I am pretty sure that I was reading my mum's copy of those books!

Elizabeth said...

When I was growing up, we loved the Five Little Peppers series - I'm pretty sure my mom read them to us because her mom read them to her!

bermudaonion said...

Those drawings are fabulous - it's nice to know the books have stood the test of time.

Ti said...

The drawings are so charming. I have never heard of those books before. I will have to check them out.

On a side note. My work computer will not let me view the graphics that you included for this post. I can see the book graphics but not the banner or button you created for the post. I will have to come back when I am on my Mac to check it out.

Maw Books said...

Well, we aren't into chapter books at our house yet. My parents have all of my childhood books in a box at their house and I can't convince them to give them up yet. I'm sure I have a lot of great memories in there.

raidergirl3 said...

I hadn't heard of MMM.

a bit of both. We've read lots of Cleary and Blume - Fudge and Ramona, and started the Little House books. But there was also Junie B and Bionicle. I think it stays old favorites until the kids pick the books themselves. As long as the parent picks, it'll be the oldies but goodies.

I did get my son to read The Great Brain and Bruno and Boots books, my original books, all musty from the basement, but we also read Harry Potter aloud too.

DLG (Daddy's Little Girl) said...

My daughter and I absolutely loved the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle chapter books. They have a similar sensibility as you describe in Milly Molly Mandy: respect for others, no-nonsense, and fun for the imagination. You must try them out, especially when your children are in that rigid, rules need to be fair and equal for everyone, age--about 6-8 years old. Mrs. P-W solves the behavior problems for parents and in such a great way!

kim said...

These were the first chapter books I read to my son and then later my daughter. They bring back very warm memories and giggles as I recall the tongue twister "Milly Molly Mandy" which sometimes felt as if it was in every sentence, twice. These are precious books.

Alyce said...

I’m just dropping by to let you know that I’ve given you an award!

Empress Nasi Goreng said...

My two children love these books. I started reading them to my daughter when she was 4yo (she is now 10) and am now reading them to my 6yo son with my daughter listening in too. I still have my parents old copies of these books which they read to me when they were little. It is amazing how they haven't really dated in all this time. Another one I have that I love is a collection of JLB short stories called "The Dawn Shops". This was also my mothers and I think it has been long out of print. My children enjoy these stories too.