Mrs. Easter and the Storks

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GREENAWAY MEDAL WINNER – 1957

Mrs Easter and the Storks

by V.H. Drummond

Age: 4+

Interests: birds, travel, London, adventure, chase, royalty


Faber & Faber: 1957

32 pp.

Also by this author: Mrs. Easter’s Parasol, Tidgie’s Innings, Lady Talavera, Miss Anna Truly, Mr. Finch’s Pet Shop, The Charming Taxi-Cab (the romance of a yellow taxi-cab and a Thames water-bus)

While little Billie Guftie and his aunt Mrs. Easter are vacationing in “a charming country called Denmark”, one of the two storks nesting on their host’s roof suddenly disappears. Sally, with the very rare luminous beak, is missing and her mate Sam is heartbroken. Billie discovers she’s been captured by a zookeeper and they are boarding a ship bound for London. Through a series of mishaps Billie finds himself on Sam’s back flying after the ship. Thanks to a sudden gust of wind and a sturdy parasol, the unflappable Mrs. Easter is able to join Billie on the bird’s back and the chase is on. The storks are eventually reunited in London on the roof of the royal palace, and the King himself is delighted when they build a nest upon one of his chimney pots. A splendid tea party ensues.

An old-fashioned story, full of whimsy and typically British understatement – on the bird’s back, it is said simply that “Billie Guftie’s position was perilous”. It is told in a more formal style than children’s books are typically written in today, but this just adds to its charm, and children will be delighted when little Billie Guftie shouts at the zookeeper: “Drop that bird, Sir! Drop her I say! Let her go free!”

There is a lot of text on each page, but the story moves along nicely. The loose pen and ink illustrations reminded me of Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline books. (The general loopiness of the plot is also very reminiscent of Madeline.) The full-page drawings are wonderful, particularly the one of them flying over London by night and another of the royal table filled with goodies. (As in every good children’s story, special care is given to describing the treats.)

Unfortunately this book is currently out of print, but second-hand copies can be found on the internet.

(used copies available via amazon.com)

Mrs Easter 2

Mrs Easter 1

Mrs Easter 3

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cassie
    May 22, 2013 @ 13:11:29

    This one reminds me of Madeline for some reason. Lovely.

    Reply

  2. Mary Elaine Jones
    Oct 08, 2014 @ 10:14:22

    My sister, Karen Jones, and I received this book back in the 60’s; I just found it in a box in my father’s basement ~ I’m sending it to my great nieces Madi, Natalie and Kyla. It brought back fond memories when I reread it. Inside the book it says: A.S. Barnes and Company, Inc., (the original Barnes of Barnes and Noble?), 11 East 36th Street, New York 16, Printed in Great Britain. ~I’m excited to share this treasure. M. Elaine Jones

    Reply

    • Kim
      Oct 09, 2014 @ 12:42:06

      So nice to pass it along to the next generation, as I think it’s out of print and quite hard to find! And it’s such a charming, quirky read – I’m sure they’ll love it. Thanks for visiting my site!

      Reply

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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.