Saturday, January 17, 2009

Brambly Hedge

"Brambly Hedge is on the other side of the stream, across the field. If you can find it, and if you look very hard amongst the tangled roots and stems, you may even see a wisp of smoke from a small chimney, or through an open door a steep flight of stairs deep within the trunk of a tree. For this is the home of the mice of Brambly Hedge...."
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!


Monica said...

I absolutely love Brambly Hedge! I also have the teapot and several cups and saucers. There is just something so "fun" about them I think. Whenever we have tea with my set, we each choose our favorite season. I always choose "winter". It is so fun to find out that you like them as well.

Jennie and Julie said...

Monica- I love the winter one as well...isn't the picture so cozy by the fire with the snow falling outside and the little mouse toasting his feet? Maybe it's our age group that loves Brambly Hedge...I'm glad to know you enjoy the tea things too!