Poppy’s Book of the Month: Merry Mister Meddle

By Poppy Hutchinson

Title: Merry Mister Meddle
Series: Meddle Series
Main Characters: Mister Meddle, Aunt Jemima
Published: 1954
First Published By: George Newnes
Rating (Out of 5): 5

First of all, I’d like to express how much I enjoyed reading this fantastic, comical, original book and how much it made me laugh! The book consists of 14 short stories each about a meddlesome pixie who is always willing to do good deeds, but somehow they always go wrong! My three personal favourites are: Meddle’s Treacle Pudding, Meddle’s Good Turns and A Surprise for Mister Meddle.

Meddle’s Treacle Pudding begins with Meddle’ Aunt Jemima feeling unusually pleased with Mister Meddle, after him presenting her with a fine bunch of daffodils. In return, she invites him to share a fine tea of cold meat, baked potatoes and a jam pudding, however Meddle is not contented, he wants a treacle pudding ; not a jam one. Alas – Aunt Jemima has no treacle in, so Meddle must be content with a jam one. Meanwhile, work men are doing jobs in the scullery, and Meddle’s Aunt insists that he must help them if he wants to stay and have tea with her. Determined to share his aunt’s mouth watering tea, Meddle obeys, but after hammering someone’s fingers and upsetting all their tools into a wet sink, Meddle was sent away with a pot of a yellow-brown liquid, being advised to stir it above the kitchen stove. After inspecting the pot of mixture carefully, Meddle is convinced it is treacle (it is actually glue) and pours his aunt’s pudding which she had not yet put jam on. He leaves it steaming on the stove and surprises his aunt when she returns from her shopping trip and the dinner is prepared. The meal goes down well and Meddle fetches the treacle pudding. The two are disgusted when they taste the glue paste and Meddle is scolded well!

In Meddle’s Good Turns, Mister Meddle is in his aunt’s bad books again, after staying with her for a few days upsetting everyone including the cat. He is sent out to convince Aunt Jemima that he can be helpful and good, and help some other people. Meddle wanders down the road to meet a woman crossing the road with a large basket of goods. He tries to snatch it from her, meaning to carry it a little way for her. The poor woman thinks she is being robbed and calls out for help. Meddle is sent on his way. He carries on down the road to meet a lady carrying her dustbin out – Meddle wants to carry it for her, but she objects declaring she is a strong woman, though there is an old woman further down the road who could do with a hand. Meddle wanders down the street and wanders in at a house with three large dustbins standing outside the house. Meddle assumes this is the old woman’s house and carries the dust bins out beside the road. Inside was actually food for the man’s hen. Evidently, the man burnt his own rubbish. The story goes on to describe Meddle painting the wrong name on someone’s house and getting white paint all over his aunt’s skirt.

I would recommend this book to boys and girls of all ages – it is a delightful book with many comical scenes and lovely illustrations. A very enjoyable read. I rated this book 5 stars because it is an enchanting selection of wonderful stories suitable for all ages. Thank you all for reading my May review – hope you all enjoyed it. I will be back next month with yet another book and another review

First edition 1954 by Joyce Mercer and Rosalind M. Turvey

First edition dustjacket  by Joyce Mercer and Rosalind M. Turvey

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