Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley

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Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: More fun stories about the girl in the pink and white striped dress and her many friends.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: September 2011
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0230754973

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Milly-Molly-Mandy doesn't much mind being an only child when she has people like Little Friend Susan, Billy Blunt and Miss Muggins's Jilly to play with. And what fun they have! With overnight guests, trips in the pony-trap, dressing up as Proper Ladies, running races and even forming secret clubs, there's never a dull moment.

Milly-Molly-Mandy was a staple of my childhood, and other people clearly agree she's as timeless as I think, as this is one of 4 new compilations of original stories, previously published in different combinations, including:

Milly-Molly-Mandy Enjoys A Visit
Milly-Molly-Mandy's Goes Blackberrying
Milly-Molly-Mandy Dresses Up
Milly-Molly-Mandy Goes To A Fete
Milly-Molly-Mandy And The Gang

Though these new books are bright and cheerful hardbacks (with sparkly lettering on the covers, each one a different colour for Milly-Molly-Mandy's Family, Adventures and School Days) a lot of the original touches remain, including the illustrations and the inclusion of a village map showing where all the adventures take place.

The stories sometimes take place in chronological order (for example the fate of the fete is important for the story about the gang) but sometimes they seem a little out of sync if you pay close attention – in Enjoys A Visit Milly-Molly-Mandy doesn't have her own room, which will puzzle you if you've earlier read [[Milly-Molly-Mandy’s Family in which she does. Otherwise, though, there are few complaints and the stories go nicely together, all having a strong friendship theme.

The stories have a good moral undertone – it's no surprise the author was a Sunday school teacher – but they're neither preachy nor religious, and more about having nice values than anything else. You occasionally meet less well off children who don't have as nice a life as Milly-Molly-Mandy, for example, and the way she interacts with these children is important. There are also messages about the need to practice to improve and why you must obey rules even if they seem daft, but there's lots of time for simple fun and silliness too. Written in the 1920s, the stories are set in a simpler time but I don't think that matters too much to children – I for one never asked why Milly-Molly-Mandy didn't have a television or a car or anything else along those lines. The language is old fashioned but in no way incomprehensible, and the short story format makes the tales perfect for reading alone, or for having as a bed time story.

Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends comes with an appealing pink cover, and we'll ignore the fact that the picture on the front is one I'd always associated with a story about Dum-Dum, who does not feature in this compilation. It has only 5 stories, but they're fun ones and I like the way the final two follow on from each other quite nicely.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Milly-Molly-Mandy. She's a fun, spunky, well-mannered girl I would have longed to be friends with, and this compilation in particular helps you feel like, even for just a moment or two, you can be one of said friends.

Thanks go to the publishers for supplying this book.

Milly-Molly-Mandy's Family is another book in this set, with an extra bonus story (6 lovely tales compared to this book's 5). Go on. You know you want to.

Buy Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley at

Buy Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Milly-Molly-Mandy's Friends by Joyce Lankester Brisley at


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