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Ursula Moray Williams wrote and illustrated over 70 children's books in her lifetime. Born in 1911, she was one of identical twins, both of whom started to write and illustrate their own books at a young age. After spending time in France, Ursula's first book Jean Pierre was published when she was just twenty. Set in the Haute-Savoie region which she knew so well, it followed the adventures of a small boy and his pet goat. Moray Williams wrote her most famous story, The Adventures of the Little Wooden Horse, in 1938, in which a little toy horse is separated from his toymaker ‘uncle' and must endure many dangerous adventures before finally finding a happy ending. A few years later in, 1942, she went on to write Gobbolino, the Witch's Cat, which soon became a firm favourite with children. Her books have been illustrated by Edward Ardizzone and Shirley Hughes, among others.
Best known for Gobbolino and The Adventures of The Little Wooden Horse, Ursula Moray Williams also wrote this funny, inventive story of fantasy, suspense and magic, now reissued as A Puffin Book. Orphan Samantha sets off in high spirits to live with her aunt, Lady Clandorris. Unfortunately Lady Clandorris is hostile towards humankind in general, and to children in particular. Their relationship deteriorates with the unexpected arrival of a strange wide-eyed creature with a long furry tale, feathered wings and two webbed feet. Samantha discovers it is a bogwoppit, and that it’s come through the drains from the outside pond. Samantha of course wants to care for it but Lady Clandorris has other plans for the little thing, and for her niece, too. This lovely little book thoroughly deserves its status as a modern classic. ~ Andrea Reece
A classic story of the amazing adventures of a toy horse made by the wise old toymaker, Uncle Peder. From the moment it has been made the Little Wooden Horse is special and different. Above all, it doesn’t want to be parted from its kindly maker! But off into the world the Little Horse must go and bravely he does so and with great determination to make money despite some terrible things happening to him on his great adventure before he returns at last to his master. Vivian French’s foreword is a great addition as it gives her reasons for loving this heart warming story. One of a range of Macmillan Classics, beautifully produced hardback editions of some of the best-loved stories from the past. Each has a introduction by another author who, in their turn, have been influenced by the great writers of these books.
Gobbolino is a cat who can do magic but, despite his family’s traditions, he doesn’t want to be a witch’s cat. All Gobbolino yearns for is to be a quiet, fireside, kitchen cat. But how can he find a home? Gobbolino’s search for the perfect home is a series of delightful adventures taking him from an orphanage to a palace, a sailing ship to a travelling Punch and Judy show. Everywhere that the home-seeking Gobbolino goes, he finds love and generosity – the very thing that he is searching for as a contrast to the cruelty of witches. The late, great Joan Aiken supplied a foreword. One of a range of Macmillan Classics, beautifully produced hardback editions of some of the best-loved stories from the past. Each has a introduction by another author who, in their turn, have been influenced by the great writers of these books.
With his bright blue eyes and sparky magical whiskers, no one could mistake Gobbolino for a kitchen cat, but that's exactly what he longs to be. So, while his sister Sootica learns to turn mice into toads, Gobbolino sets off on a grand adventure to find a nice warm fire and a family to care for him.
Reissued for its 70th anniversary, this classic tale, which has never been out of print, has been loved by generations of children. This edition with stunning illustrations by award winning Catherine Rayner is truly exceptional and a gift at any time of the year but particularly for Halloween and Christmas.