I first came across the wonderful characters from Brambly Hedge and Jill Barklems' imagination while in England. I was visiting a Royal Doulton china store and looking for a teacup and saucer to take home with me. I fell in love with a series of cups and plates depicting the illustrations from these little books. I purchased my first cup and saucer there, but have since purchased 3 others, and received the teapot for a Christmas gift.
There are 8 books in all, 4 of which follow the seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter stories. The book and cup above show illustrations from Winter Story. The other 4 books are various stories about adventures these mice are involved in. My favorite is 'The Secret Staircase' as I do love a good mystery. The first book was written in 1980, and they have gone in and out of print since then. I was fortunate enough to collect all 8 books, and then to collect another set of 8 for Julie's children.
A few years ago Target reintroduced some old and new Brambly Hedge products. About a year ago Julie found this card matching game (showing Wilfred and Primrose) at a used clothing sale and bought it for me. It had never been opened, and was a real treat.
These characters become so real and are so delightful I thoroughly enjoy them through each re-reading. There is something so winsome about the animating of small animals, and it captures my heart. As with Beatrix Potter, Jill Barklem is English and has a way of writing charming stories along with endearing illustrations. A+ in my book!