So this is the second review of a full story from the Adventures of George and Timmy. This one was called A Curious Treasure and all starts with George begging her father to let her keep her newly found puppy Timothy.
She is allowed to keep the puppy on the proviso that Timmy doesn’t chew any more pairs of her father’s slippers. With this all agreed George is asked to clear out some of her old toys for the local jumble sale.
While she’s in the attic sorting out her toys she discovers a box of dolls she was given by her aunt, the mother of Julian, Dick and Anne. George thinks that her aunt assumed she would want dolls because Anne would be one of those “girlie girls”. Needless to say the dolls are headed to the jumble sale. George checks the attic for a box to put all the toys in, and when she finds an appropriate one discovers an article about detectives searching Kirrin for bones. The rest of the article is missing so George throws it away. George gets excited because she thinks that the detectives are policemen and the bones are human.
The next part of the book is about how George and Timmy go to the beach to have a picnic and Timmy starts digging up the sand at somewhere called Needle Point- which I’m sure never made it into the original books. Timmy then finds something in the sand. George goes over and finds that its a large bone!
Immediately she believes it goes with the article she read in the attic and that they’ve found a human bone. She takes it home and asks both parents if they should call the police, but that won’t need to happen. It turns out to be a dinosaur bone.
That’s right, dinosaurs have come to Kirrin!
Quentin calls in a doctor friend of his, who is a palaeontologist. Doctor Ward comes to stay at Kirrin Cottage with the Kirrins and brings his obnoxious, overweight son, Jack. George takes a dislike to him because Timmy likes him, and to start off she’s very stand offish.
Over the course of the book Jack becomes a better person and George begins to like him more when he starts getting over his cowardly inclinations. However Jack is the reason the secret of the dinosaur bones comes under threat when he mouths off to someone in the village. Its almost a parody of when Tinker boasts about his father’s work shop and secret papers to the circus people in Five are Together Again (which I should really re-read!) and then sets off a chain of events that culminate in the big adventure.
Now this adventure with the bones trying to be stolen from the beach is not as thrilling as what happens in Five Are Together Again. I don’t get the same thrill from reading A Curious Treasure as I do from a proper Famous Five book. Yes its nice to have a bit more time with George and Timmy, but I just feel there could have been so much more and George seems so very young. Younger than she does in the very first Famous Five book. I suppose part of my problem with connecting to these books is that I am too old for them; they are meant for the five to seven, possibly eight age group readers who are looking to start reading the Famous Five with their parents, but, there is still a problem.
This problem is simply that I’m not enthused by the writing as I am with Blyton’s original works. Yes the style and the language is there, but there is a lack of that involvement, that magic, that spark that when you pick up a Famous Five, young or old, you get. I’m not drawn into these adventures by Sue Welford and I’m sorry to say that because Sue has done a wonderful interview on the blog for us in the past.
I don’t think I would go back and re-read these stories like I re-read the Famous Fives, but I would certainly think its worth a go if I had a young one in my life I could read it to. Maybe their enthusiasm for the stories and the joy they got from them would help me enjoy them more.
Anyway, the adventure in the book really happens so quickly and so close to the end of the book that it feels rushed. There feels like there was a lot of faffing about in the beginning and now there’s not enough space to fit the ‘exciting’ bit in.
I think that A Curious Treasure flowed better than the first one Timmy, The Fearless Puppy. Sue Welford seemed to have found her rhythm by book two but I just can’t rate the series very highly. What do you think? Please let me know!
Never even knew that this book existed.
Thanks Stef – it’s great to have a review of something I have never come across. It just shows that you can’t recreate Enid’s work easily – she was such a special talent.
My husband did a lot of amazon.co.uk searching for EB books when he spent 11 months in the UK 8 years ago. He ordered all 6 volumes for me. To be honest, I didn’t know that they existed. I liked the one book with the cave, but forgot the title. Obviously they were written for a younger audience, but if they paved the way to read FF books later on, they definitely served their purpose. The illustrations were a bit weak I thought.