Book review

Lizzie Dripping by Helen Cresswell (1973)

It's not her real name:

It isn't meant unkindly, it's really quite affectionate. It fits the kind of girl who is dreamy and daring at the same time, and who turns things upside down and inside out wherever she goes and whatever she does.

In this book, Lizzie has five separate adventures, in five short stories.

I think my favourite is when she meets the witch:

Her hands, which were the only part of her that showed, kept making awkward jerking stabs with a pair of long wooden pins from which hung a length of lacy, soot-black knitting. Either it was lacy, or full of holes. Holes, probably, Lizzie decided. The witch did not look at all a good knitter.

She's pretty good at spells, though. Not that that is of much use to Lizzie, because the witch is not at all the helpful kind. She appears and disappears just as she likes, and when Lizzie really thinks she could benefit from a subtle spell, the witch refuses:

'Do it yourself!'

is all she gets. So Lizzie does do it herself ...

Want to know what, exactly?

Read it yourself!

These are neat little stories, quick and simple to read, although there is some local dialect in the dialogue. Lizzie isn't the kind of character you come across very often any more. She lives in a slower, gentler age, where children spend their free time pushing the baby out for a walk in his pram and fetching butter from the corner shop. And if you think Lizzie's mother is a little sharp-tongued, well, maybe that's what makes Lizzie such a dreamer ...

What can I read next?

Helen Cresswell has written plenty of books for children:

If you prefer short stories, you might like to look at this classic by Clive King:

Or some of Michael Morpurgo's stories might interest you:

Actually, you could look at the Narnia series by C S Lewis:

Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:

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