Monday, May 20, 2013

Lost Treasure Found at March House Books

There are some memories of childhood that have a savour so sweet as to hold almost an ache of longing.

I don't recall much about the time before I was five and my parents separated.  When that happened, we moved away from where I was born in central Australia, and my mother and sisters and I made a new start a long distance away in Adelaide.  I'm sure I was confused, (and I'm sure it was hard for our mother).

I began school that year, and as soon as I learned to read I escaped into books, not raising my head to rejoin the world until the end of grade seven.  Somewhat the archetypal bookworm, I read as I walked to school, read a book under my school desk through as much of the day as I could, sat by myself with a book through every recess and lunchtime, and read through every spare minute at home.  I even read when I was in the shower and as I rode my bike.  I loved books like friends, and the people in them populated my world.

But the first book I ever loved was from that earlier time before my parents divorced, and it's that book or group of books that is to be the source of one of my happiest early childhood memories.  I suppose my mother or father must have read it to me when I was little.  Or perhaps I sat for hours by myself, turning the pages and absorbing the pictures.

Down through the years I have remembered these as 'the Belinda books'.  All I could remember was that a young girl called Belinda lived in a magical kind of forest, and that she was able to talk to her forest friends, the animals, there.

Every now and again I asked about these books at second-hand book shops, but without success.

Until back in April I visited Barbara's wonderful Blog on this page at March House Books and thought to ask her if she might know what it was that I was remembering.  You can hardly imagine my delight when she directed me to this page on her Blog, and I was able to rediscover these lost friends from my childhood.

I now own seven of this series.  I'm very happy :)

I am also very grateful to Barbara, who is so very knowledgeable about children's books, and who was so very kind and helpful!  She knew that Belinda was actually a character in the Pookie books.  I recommend Barbara's online book store to you very highly!

Isn't the internet wonderful, and aren't the people you meet there lovely?! :)


  1. Can't wait to see these next time I'm over mum!

  2. Oh my goodness Mum, I swear as soon as I saw the pictures and 'Pookie' it was super familiar to me! I'm sure I've had some sort of interaction with those books when I was little. But then, if I had I think you would have recognised them or the characters. Hmmmm.
    Anyway, YAY!! How very exciting :)
    Can't wait to look through them next time I get the chance!

  3. Wow, thank you Sandy, what a lovely tribute! I’m so happy I could help. The Pookie ‘little white rabbit with wings’ books are some of my favourites. As soon as you mentioned Belinda, a forest and animals, I knew it just had to be Pookie!
    I loved reading more about your childhood. Thanks so much for mentioning my blog, I really appreciate it. Barbara x

  4. Such a lovely post, its amazing when we are re-united with the stories of our childhood like this. I was delighted when my husband tracked down a copy of The Pebbles Go To Town which was the first book I ever bought myself. So excited for you, I hope you enjoy your books.

  5. What an absolutely wonderful story! I'm so happy Barbara was able to reunite you with such precious books.

    -Sophie @

  6. These books look adorable. I have been wanting to read one since I first heard about them on Barbara's blog. I am so glad she was able to reunite you with a childhood favorite. Yeah! :)

  7. I came over from the link on Barbara's blog (hers is one of my favourites!). Your post struck such a cord with me - especially your opening sentence. I feel like that so strongly my blog is almost completely devoted to the books and illustrations I remember from childhood! Pookie was also one I treasured - I originally had 3 books of which 1 remains (tattered and well used!) Its always a thrill for me when Barbara includes them in one of her posts! So glad you could find the stories again - as you say the internet is a wonderful place & I've also been amazed by the people I've met through it and the answers I've had to questions just like yours! - nice to meet you - Sharon