Monday, December 01, 2008

Brambly what?

How did I not know about Brambly Hedge?

I love our co-op preschool. It's great how, after a year of working together, we parents know each other really well.



When one of the parents asked me, a month or two ago, whether I was familiar with the Brambly Hedge books I had no idea what she was talking about. But I knew that I'd better find out. She knows me well enough that I trust her opinions entirely, and she thought I would enjoy the author's attention to detail. (Oh, she knows me too well with my little obsessions...)

Our library doesn't have the books, which surprised me. Are they out of print? I had difficulty tracking them down and finally purchased two copies on Amazon (love the used book option--it makes purchasing out-of-print books so much easier than ebay).



The first book just arrived. It's amazing. The story is simultaneously sweet and exciting, and it will thoroughly capture Tsia's attention when we give it to her for Christmas.

But the illustrations! Very Beatrix Potter in feeling and presentation, and completely fantastic. Here are two of them, in case you aren't familiar with the books either. Beautiful, yes?

You can see more illustrations on the Brambly Hedge website as well. And look at this sewing pattern for the little mice! Very sweet.

So I guess I need to come out from under my rock here. I thought I knew children's books pretty well. What other books am I missing?

22 comments:

  1. I love Brambly Hedge books, they were some of my favourites growing up, and now my almost-4-year-old loves them too! The Secret Staircase is definitely my number one, the illustrations are fantastic, and the whimsical secretive world is like a little wonderland. Enjoy getting to know these fabulous books!

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  2. Oooh - I missed them in my childhood (i think I'm too old). I managed to cobble together a complete set -8 original books - from Powells.com. Of course, we live in Portland, OR, so it's a quick hop down to the main store when a new one became available. You can set up notifications so that you're emailed when a title (new or used) becomes available. My 3 year old girl loves these stories and so do i. Last winter we also watched an animated TV show on Public TV of the Winter Story and Spring story - maybe the High Hills too?

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  3. I've never heard of Brambly Hedge before. It looks so Beatrix Potter-ish. Have you read Milly Molly Mandy? She was my favourite as a child.

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  4. I love those books! Another favorite from my childhood is the Serendipity Books (Leo the Lop, The Wheedle on the Needle, etc). They are written and illustrated by local artists (I am in Seattle). Flutterby, Serendipity, Morgan, Dragolin...all delightful characters.

    My mom also had this big hard bound book of Gnomes (I think it was Gnomes by Rien Poortvliet) and when I was a child it was total eye candy for me. I would sit quietly for some time, turning the pages revently, absorbed with pictures.

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  5. Oh - another one is Swan Lake by Mark Heprin. Beautiful, beautiful book.

    Anything by Jan Brett is awesome too.

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  6. ohhhh, brambly hedge. I used to have loads of the books, I loved the illustrations - you could get lost in them.

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  7. oh yes, I ADORED Brambly Hedge. I had lots of them and as much of the associated merchandise as existed in the 70s! Notepaper, pencils, that kind of stuff.
    Happy memories!

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  8. I loved Brambly Hedge books when I as little, I'd completely forgotten about them until you posted, thanks for reminding me.
    The illustrations are fantastic, so much to see in every picture.

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  9. One book that should be on your list for Tsia for when she gets a smidge older is The Princess Knight by Cornelia Funke. Gorgeous illustrations (not as detailed as Brambly Hedge or Jan Brett but lovely in their own way) and a nifty story, too.

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  10. My sister in law has almost the entire set of Brambly Hedge china! Gorgeous and simultaneously sweet.

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  11. ok, WAIT.

    Are those sewing patterns for both the mice AND the clothing? This is extremely exciting.

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  12. If you like Brambly Hedge and Beatrix Potter, you must hunt down some Alison Uttley - Little Grey Rabbit and Sam Pig. Magical.

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  13. I also just discovered Brambly Hedge and was able to get one at our library and more from Amazon. I do believe they are out of print in England. I'm sure I love them more than my children though! We also just discovered "The Quiltmakers Gift", which has absolutely stunning illustrations and a beautiful story about generosity. It's my new favorite.

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  14. I've never heard of Brambly Hedge!

    My girls' favorites are all the Sandra Boyton books, the Biscuit books, Clifford, and most recently a fun book titled Pinkalicious.

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  15. We always loved anything by Elsa Beskow, specifically Peter in Blueberry Land!

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  16. I found out about them years ago when I started to use Brambly Hege fabric. It was the most amazing fabric. I wonder if you can still get it.

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  17. My mom has a series of Brambly Hedge tea cups, one for each season. I am not sure where she got them. And I think she has one book but I don't know that she is ready to let the grandkids use it. All this has been since my childhood. But the illustrations are wonderful. I love Jan Brett's books. Such details in her illustrations and stories, her website is full of fun stuff.

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  18. My first job after university was working as a junior designer in the Childrens Book Department of William Collins who first published Brambly Hedge. I was there in 1979/80 and can remember the lead up to publication, the excitement and anticipation felt by the commissioning editor who rightly guessed how much the work would be loved by readers. I can remember her coming into the office and saying how wonderful Jill Barklem's home was, how she "lived" her creations with a wonderful collection of little bottles and jars etc around her home. And above all I can remember seeing some of the original illustrations pre publication. I wasn't at Collins for long but how I wish I'd stayed longer and started a collection of first editions!

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  19. Thanks for the suggestion! I was pleased to find that my library does have the books, and I can't wait to check them out for myself.

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  20. Wonderful!!!
    I love great children's books!
    the books I've "discovered" lately from England are the "Blackberry Farm" series, and the (OLD) Andy Pandy books.
    Also, books by the English illustrator Alan Aldiridge, which I've collected my whole life: Butterfly Ball, The Peacocks Parade, etc.
    thanks!

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  21. Oh, Also I've found that AbeBooks.com has the largest variety of used books.

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  22. Hi,
    As an admirer and fan of the Brambly Hedge books and characters, I was delighted to find your blog mentioning your discovery of this delightful little world!
    Just want to let you know I've posted a link to your blog in my post today about enjoying my "Winter Story" tea cup & saucer on this Valentine's Day!

    Thanks for your post and take good care!
    My blog is at: http://burrisdraw.blogspot.com

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