Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

11 January

Book of the day

mostlymaryMostly Mary
(Mary Plain: book 1)
Gwynedd Rae (illustrated by Clara Vulliamy)
(UK: Egmont, 2017)

Join the wonderfully funny and utterly endearing Mary Plain and her family and friends in her first ever adventure!

Mary Plain is an orphan who lives with her relatives in the bear pits at Berne Zoo, Switzerland. A delightful but rather unusual bear, with a huge personality and an appetite to match, you never quite know what escapades she’ll get up to next!

Gwynedd Rae’s enchanting Mary Plain stories have an enduring, timeless appeal and Clara Vulliamy’s fresh, funny and energetic illustrations will introduce Mary Plain and friends to a whole new generation of readers.

The original text is lovingly reproduced in this hardback foiled edition, with brand-new black and white artwork by renowned illustrator Clara Vulliamy, including a new heart-warming introduction from Clara Vulliamy about what the books mean to her.

Recommended by:
Lesley Pollinger, author and Literary Executor and Trustee for the Estate of Frieda Lawrence Ravagli

Available in the UK via ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine, or via Amazon (Mostly Mary)

Welsh author Gwynedd Rae (1892-1977) was the creator of the much-loved Mary Plain series. The first book in the series, Mostly Mary, was published in 1930 and the last, Mary Plain’s Whodunnit, was published in 1965. The series includes 14 books about Mary’s adventures.

Clara Vulliamy has illustrated over 35 children’s books and has been published by HarperCollins, Orchard Books, Random House, Walker Books and Kingfisher. She is the daughter of author and illustrator, Shirley Hughes and together they created the Dixie O’Day series. She lives in Twickenham with her husband and has two grown-up daughters.

Egmont are publishing the second book in the series in the UK at the same time as Mostly Mary:
Book 2: All Mary (UK: ‘My Local Bookshop‘ search engine or Amazon)

bed-reading-3Facts of the day

11 January

1922 Leonard Thompson, 14, from Canada becomes the first patient to receive insulin to treat diabetes.

New Year

In China people have a unique way of celebrating New Year. Every front door of a house is painted in red to symbolise happiness and good fortune. They hide all the knives for the day so that no one cuts oneself, because that may actually cut the entire family good luck for the coming year. It doesn’t seem to make any difference to the feast they have during time.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney didn’t grow up wanting to be a children’s author. His dream was to become a newspaper cartoonist, but he wasn’t able to get his comic strips syndicated.

Writers birthdays

1825 Bayard Taylor (USA)
1842 William James (USA)
1853 Gustav Falke (Germany)
1864 Thomas Dixon Jr (USA)
1879 Antonio Beltramelli (Italy)
1890 Oswald de Andrade (Brazil)
1898 Hans Kirk (Denmark)
1903 Alan Paton (South Africa)
1922 Ernle Bradford (UK)
1952 Bille Brown (Australian)
1961 Jasper Fforde (UK)
1966 Marc Acito (USA)

Jokes of the day

‘It’s so cold’ jokes:

  • It’s so cold, hitchhikers are showing pictures of their thumbs.
  • It’s so cold, passengers on the Underground aren’t offended by other people brushing up against them.
  • It’s so cold, cows outside are threatening to strike unless they got bras to cover their udders.
  • It’s so cold, crooked politicians have their hands in their own pockets.
  • It’s so cold, someone spilled hot coffee on me and I thanked them.
  • It’s so cold, a group of chickens walked into a KFC asking to warm up.
  • It’s so cold that I can’t even get into a heated argument with my wife.
  • It’s so cold pickpockets are calling in sick.
  • It’s so cold David Beckman is actually covering up.

Cartoon: Various, Cartoons on cold weather, CartoonStock

Quote of the day

Philip L Moore: ‘If you can read and write then the opportunities are endless; if you just believe in yourself then anything is possible. You can become anyone and do anything, what’s more, you can take others with you.’