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Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep

Press: Walker Books Ltd (September 3, 2001)


First published in 1937, this is the classic story of Little Elsie Piddock who can skip like never so. 
The High Skip, Slow Skip, the Skip Double-Double, the Long Skip, the Strong Skip, the Skip Against Trouble...Elsie Piddock learns them all.
Soon she can even outskip the fairies on Mount Caburn and is rewarded by their Skipping-Master, Andy-Spandy, with a gift of rare and lasting value - a magical skipping-rope - that, many years later, helps her thwart an unpleasant landowner threatening to deny access to the skipping-ground.

From Booklist

Ages 5-8. 
"Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep" first appeared in Farjeon's Martin Pippin in the Daisy Field (1937) and has been a favorite of storytellers and their audiences ever since.
Little Elsie Piddock has such a talent for skipping rope that the fairies summon her to skip for them on nearby Mount Caburn and award her with a magical rope.
Generations later, a new lord buys the land and threatens to build factories on the mountain.
Every girl and woman comes to skip on Caburn one last time, but when the aged Elsie Piddock takes out her rope and begins to skip, it spells the end of the new lord and his plans.
Mount Caburn is saved for the people and the fairies forever.
Voake's ink drawings with watercolor washes clearly establish the turn-of-the-century English setting and illuminate the tale with deft, precise lines and delicate tints of color.
Not to be confused with Farjeon's 1997 book with the same name, which is smaller in format and has completely different illustrations.
A fine edition of a beautifully crafted story.
Carolyn PhelanCopyright © American Library Association.
All rights reserved

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Voake's ink-and-watercolor sketches match the delicate clarity of Farjeon's prose to perfection in this small, handsomely turned-out volume that makes available to a new generation a classic tale of tyranny overcome. 
The tale is filled with fairies and children, led by heroic Elsie, who both at seven and at a hundred and seven could skip rope, even with her eyes closed.
Elsie so impresses the fairies that they teach her their own skills--and a century later she puts them to good use when a greedy landowner attempts to build a factory on the hilltop where fairies and generations of children have traditionally gone to jump rope.
The story is still spry and wise, and Voake makes this neglected literary gem--and unforgettable read-aloud--look new.
8-11) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP.
All rights reserved.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The poetic, incisive prose is well-matched by the featherlight line and muted pallette of the pictures. 
A book worth treasuring." TES Primary "By that most perfect of storytellers, Eleanor Farjeon.
Charlotte Voake...
has to be half fairy herself to produce such exquisitely delicate pictures." The Guardian

About the Author

Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) was one of the most important children's writers of the twentieth century. 
In 1956 she was awarded both the Carnegie Medal and the Hans Christian Andersen International Medal.
Charlotte Voake visited Mount Caburn while preparing the illustrations for this book, and found it "an extraordinary place.
The atmosphere is magical." A highly acclaimed artist, Charlotte Voake won the 1997 Smarties Book Prize Gold Award for Ginger and has been shortlisted four times for the Kurt Maschler Award.


Children's Books,Classics

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Comment List (Total:14)

  •     Very old story told to me more than 60 years ago, - I thought my godmother made it up! Thrilled to fine it in writing for my grand daughter.A quick rhyme from the story: "Andy Spandy, sugar candy - French almond roc...Bread & butter for your supper's alls your mother got" Andy Spandy is the name of the fairy king.

  •     I just want to say that this is my favorite children's book ever. My father found it in paperback when I was young, and read it to me, and it remains my favorite.

  •     Wasn't sure my son would go for this book, because the main character is a girl who loves to jump rope (not our usual fare), but I was enamored with it and gave it a go. I'm glad I did, because he loved it. The writing flows very nicely, and has it's own 'Old World charm' - "Elsie Piddock skips as never so." Lots of fun to read, and a great story about standing up for what is important to you sort of snuck in there...Buy this book as a gift for anyone who has girls because they will surely love it!

  •     Farjeon is a welcome memory from my own childhood; her books are somewhat out of fashion these hectic days, but they are so worth looking into again!

  •     This is one of the most magical, amazing books I have read. It is for children, but it touches all of us with sensibility.The story is poetic and magical.

  •     All the other reviews here have it right, Elsie Piddock Skips in Her Sleep is a wonderful, well-written story with a good foundation and a positive ending.

  •     We were given this book when my children were ages 4 and 6. At the time, I was involved in trying to save natural areas near our neighborhood.

  •     My 16 year old daughter has loved this book since 3rd grade and when she brought it up in conversation last month I though I would go onto Amazon & see if I could get my hands on it as a surprise. I was delighted to find a large copy of the book, the library always only had the small copy, and it was a signed collectible copy at that! She was so surprised when I gave it to her & thrilled to have a collectible. It now sits proudly in her book shelf.

  •     This is a wonderful book. It has everything a girl (around 8 or 9) might love: fairies, jumpropes, politics. My daughter really enjoyed it and so did I.

  •     Any child, and I am now fifty-nine years old, who can recite Andy Spandy's ropeskipping rhyme has me for a friend. This is one of those tales for children that sounds better being told aloud by a good reader. When I was growing up, both my parents loved to read aloud, and my sister and I heard many fine tales before the fireplace, listening to mother or father.But the lilt of the language as the rope swings round is the unforgettable part:ANDY SPANDY SUGARDY CANDYFRENCH ALMOND ROCK!BREAD AND BUTTER FOR YOUR SUPPER'SALL YOUR MOTHER'S GOT!

  •     Interesting story. A bit too old for our 3 year olds. Also, one basic theme is that factory owners are evil, but can be destroyed by magic. Buyer beware.

  •     This is a wonderful children's story. I first head it more than 50 years ago but never forgot it, and it's so great to have the book and be able to read all the details. It would certainly encourage children to skip!

  •     Perfect for a granddaughter

  •     A 1001 CBYMRBYGU. Elsie Piddock is the most amazing skipper ever. Elsie can do the Strong Skip. Elsie can do the Long Skip. Elsie can do the Skip All Together.


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