Born in Sussex in 1907, Rumer Godden spent her childhood in India which she loved. On her return to England, she found settling into boarding school really difficult. She could never remember a time when she did not write.
Rumer Godden was my favourite author when I was little. Far better than Enid Blyton, Rumer's books explored children's feelings and offered well developed characters. She wrote many books, both for adults and children. These are two of my favourites.
The Story of Holly and Ivy.
Illustrated by Sheila Bewley
Macmillan Children's Books ISBN: 978-0330439749
First published in 1958, 'this is a story about wishing'. It is also the story of a doll dressed for Christmas and a little girl in a Children's Home. The story captures the true meaning of Christmas. In my copy (see above) the illustrations are line drawings, capturing a bygone time perfectly. The book has been republished and illustrated by Christian Birmingham giving it a new lease of life for a new generation.
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower
Macmillan Children's Books ISBN: 978-1447292746
Settling in England with her cousins is not easy for Nona. Everything is strange and different to life in India. When two Japanese dolls- Miss Happiness and Miss Flower- arrive, Nona feels that they, too, must be lonely so far from home and she decides to build a home for them.
The up-dated edition has been illustrated by Gary Blythe and looks lovely, but I still prefer my original copy (pictured above). I can't tell you how many times I have read this story- I'm still hoping someone will build the Japanese doll's house for me- there are plans in the back of the book. Any volunteers?