Book - 1995
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The Mennyms are a devoted family living together at No 5, Brocklehurst Grove. It is a big household in which the five children are fussed over by their mother and the father worries about his job. Any normal family, you might think - but you would be wrong, for No 5 is home to a deception.

Publisher: London : Red Fox, c1995
ISBN: 9780099301677
Characteristics: p ; cm


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Jul 25, 2011

It’s not easy to say just what sort of book this is. Is it a childrens’ story. Well, yes, perhaps a little. Is it one of those fantasy science-fictiony stories with flying dragons and the such. A bit --- but definitely without the dragons. Is it one of those stories that feature wizards, dead fictional English kings and strange creatures come to life? Well, yes, a bit of that too. Sort of.
What we have here is a story about life sized raggey Anne dolls that have come to life. A whole family of them: from a pater-familias down to a baby Mennym. They were stitched together by their dead mother over forty years ago and they’ve been living together as a large extended family in a house in a small town in England ever since, never aging; always knowing what they know as though their ken of the world werfe somehow inate, bestowed upon them by their creator.. Set, perhaps, in 1950’s England, unnoticed by their neighbours, they’ve managed to live quietly without drawing attention to themselves. Even their names arfe quaint: Soobie, Wimpey, Sir Magnus, Vinetta, Miss Quigley and others. Some folks are described as blokes; they eat pretend little biscuits; and Appleby wears tinted spectacles. The story is firmly anchored in an earlier, simpler age of greater innocence.
This story was written in England, almost twenty years ago, by Sylvia Waugh, who grew up in the 1930s and 40s and perhaps this accounts in part for the tone of the novel. The book has been immensely popular, having been translated into a number of languages. The book was the precursor of a series of stories, all featuring the Mennyms.
Should you read this book? Well, yes. Give it a go. It is delightfully de-stressing after the comute home. It hight even remind you of a earlier age when the world was fresh with possibility and the idea of raggedy Anne dolls come alive wasn’t so far fetched.

Jul 26, 2010

This is just the first book in a really delightful series that I stumbled upon entirely by accident and now recommend whenever I can.

The characters are living dolls, yes, but it isn't like you may be thinking. They are upright British citizens, really, who simply live with the handicap that they are made of cloth and stuffing and would have serious problems if the neighbors realized it (hence the various disguises they have to use when going to the shops.)

The author does a marvelous job of working out the details of what it would take for lifesize dolls to live in an English suburb without causing a panic, and she brings it beautifully to life.

Highly recommended.

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