The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories

The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories


The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories [PDF] ✎ The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories By Joan Aiken – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk 'I wish we'll have two children called Mark and Harriet And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother for instance And a phoenix 'I Garden The Complete Armitage ePUB ´ wish we'll Garden The PDF/EPUB ¾ have two children called Mark and Harriet And I hope lots of interesting and unusual things will happen to them The Serial eBook ê It would be nice if they had a fairy godmother for instance And a phoenix or something out of the ordinary for a pet Serial Garden The PDF É We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen say Mondays But not always Mondays and not only Mondays or Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Kindle - that would get a bit dull'As a result of their mother's honeymoon wish Mark and Harriet Armitage have a fairy godmother a pet unicorn and are prepared for anything life can throw at them especially but not always on a Monday hatching griffins in the airing cupboard Latin lessons with a ghost furious Furies on the doorstep and an enchanted garden locked inside a cereal packet Life with the Armitages can be magical funny terrifying but never ever dull.


10 thoughts on “The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories

  1. Maren Maren says:

    Joan Aiken is one of the most neglected and splendid Children's writers Best known for her Wolves Chronicles starting with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase about the adventures of children in a darkly Dickensian Alternate world in which James III rules England The tales in the Serial Garden are not as dark but just as inventive and fanciful The short stories follow the adventures of the Armitage family An ordinary British Family of the 1950s however Mrs Armitage on her honeymoon thought happily ever after sounded a little dull and wished on a wishing stone that things would never be boring but they couldn't have adventures everyday so Mondays were good but not always on Monday because that would be boring too The adventures focus primarily on the Armitage children Harriet and Mark who handle a variety of dangerous and magical happenings with a healthy share of creativity and calm British pluck Whether a Unicorn appears in their garden or their parents are turned into lady beetles or hatching a Griffin's egg in the linen closet the stories are full of humor and charmAiken was one of those remarkable writers who wrote both for children and adults and her children's books are those that can easily be enjoyed by adultsI was delighted to find this volume which collects all the Armitage stories for the first time


  2. Kate Coombs Kate Coombs says:

    When I read a writer like Joan Aiken I remember why I'm not giving five stars to a lot of other authors Over the years Aiken wrote a number of stories about the Armitage family an ordinary British family who have a unicorn in the garden shades of James Thurber Strange and magical things are especially likely to happen to the Armitages on Mondays but occasionally they happen on different days confusing everyone For supposedly old fashioned stories these tales kick the booty out of most of what's being written today Just to give you one example watch for the delicious absurdity of two elderly druid brothers fighting over a bathmat made of beard hair or the fact that the Borrowers type small people in this book are fairly obnoxious and tacky not darling Then there's the poignancy of the title story But whatever you do remember that griffins are not only expensive pets but heavy and that uince trees are stolen for a reason


  3. ^ ^ says:

    Exceptional My 'desert island' book From my childhood I already knew and deeply loved several of the stories published here But what inexpressible and absolute delight to find other Armitage stories that I was not previously acuainted with Gaps in my knowledge of Armitage family 'history' have thus now been very satisfyingly filled inMuch as I love my own parents I should have adored to have had Mr and Mrs Armitage as parents What fun that would have been The Armitages are a close knit family They are utterly English These stories 24 were published between 1953 and 2008; yet Mark and Harriet do not age significantly One unuestioningly accepts as being perfectly normal; because these stories are that good This is beautiful imaginative humourous sometime satiric poetic memorable read out aloudable absolutely brillient writing Don't miss it RIP Joan Aiken 1924 2004


  4. Monica Edinger Monica Edinger says:

    I was a bit skeptical when I heard about these because I'm not a big reader of short stories sorry and so loved Aiken's children's novels that I didn't think these would hold up Well they do than hold up They are absolutely magical Really The Armitage family comes out of the tradition of families like those of Nesbit or Eager There was for me even a tinge of the Peterkins in these stories though I assure you that these folks are not nearly as bumbling and there is no lady from Philadelphia to bail them out The humor often involving magic gone wrong is in the vein of Diana Wynne Jones There are sad moments too say the one of the poor music teacher and another involving a baby goblinI guess this is what is sometimes called domestic fantasy stuff that happens with this family in their small village that just seems to have witches unicorns and other magical stuff in the daily life of the place and people Highly recommended


  5. MB (What she read) MB (What she read) says:

    12309 intial read If like me you've grown up reading Joan Aiken you will enjoy this book I've always loved the stories featuring the Armitage Family scattered through Joan Aiken's many anthologies for their whimsy and sheer fun So it was truly wonderful to find them collected together for the first time I revisted many old favorites and found several new to me What a treasureRe read in 2012And re read again 72214


  6. Robin Gaphni Robin Gaphni says:

    Thanks goes to our wonderful children's librarian who steered me to this utterly delightful series of short stories Although many of the stories in Joan Aiken's The Serial Garden were originally published over fifty years ago they were completely new to me It's hard to believe I never discovered them before and I'm sorry that my children who are now teenagers never had the pleasure of hearing them read aloudThe Armitages are an English family in the 1950's who live a rather magical life It all starts when Mrs Armitage muses to Mr Armitage on their honeymoon that she's worried that living happily ever after could be a bit boring Serendipitously she finds a wishing stone and makes a wish that things won't be dull and that interesting and unusual things will happen to them perhaps on Mondays but not always Mondays because that could get boring too She also wishes that her future children will have a fairy godmother And that their house will have at least one ghost Right then and there the stories are bornFast forward twelve years or so and you meet Harriet and Mark their two plucky children who manage to handle all that comes their way with grace and humor There are witches and unicorns and best friends who are six inches tall Things often go awry and yet these two continue on seemingly unperturbed by the chaos that surrounds them They are curious and fearless whether they are encountering druid brothers fighting over a bathmat made of human hair or magical gardens that grow out of cereal boxes In one story an invisibility cloak is even mentioned and these were written years before Harry Potter came on the sceneThe stories are imaginative and well written with surprise twists and turns on almost every page Children who are avid readers will delight in visiting the world that Aiken has created But even importantly I think this would be a wonderful read aloud book for reluctant readers Parents could read a story a night to a child or teachers could read a story a day to a class It's a classic example of great storytelling and begs to be read aloud This is one book I think every family should own


  7. Lari Don Lari Don says:

    I may have just rediscovered the origin of my own fiction This is the complete collection of all the Armitage stories written by the fantasy writer Joan Aiken throughout her adult entire life from the age of 18 in the early 1940s until just a few years ago I read many of these stories in different collections when I was young but never all together As always when rereading something which inspired me when I was young but which is now of a warm fuzzy memory rather than something sharp and specific I was a bit hesitant about reading this collection And the first few stories were almost too short to get my teeth into and almost devoid of tension just lovely ideas stretched a little but very uickly I was hooked again The stories are about a seemingly ordinary family English middle class boarding schools maid and cook etc – ie not ordinary in my world but nevertheless an ordinary kind of literary Englishness who constantly have the strangest magical things happen to them furies on their doorstep a ghost as a lodger wizards reuisitioning their house unicorns on the lawn And the children Harriet and Mark just deal with everything in the same matter of fact way There are wonderful ideas in here the same apple causing problems all the way from Garden of Eden to Troy; how a witch copes with cooking children in a new fangled oven; the social awkwardness of going on a day trip with an invisible ghost Because these are short stories most ideas are just touched on in passing which can be frustrating – I would have loved to have spent time in most of these stories But you can see the origin of so much subseuent children’s fiction in the stunning imagination of Joan Aiken and I’m now wondering if the centaur on the doorstep of my very first novel is a direct descendant of the unicorn in the Armitages’ garden A brilliant collection and not just for adults revisiting their youth or fantasy writers looking for the gold standard my young daughter loved it too


  8. Bloodorange Bloodorange says:

    Disclaimer a collection of Aiken's stories was one of my favourite books in my late childhood and I was bound to be partial I loved The Serial Garden to bits for a few reasons apart from the excellent writing and the somewhat darkish feel of some of the stories I love how the author incorporates parents and what parents into their children's adventures; whatever transpires at the Armitage's on Mondays but sometimes other days too is a direct result of Mrs Armitage's honeymoon wish Parents' characters and not just Mrs and Mr Armitage feel real to me While I can imagine some voices of protests I find fragments such as the one below neighbours' reaction to having their three children turned into sheep cathartic 'Some peace and uiet will be a wonderful change and I shan't have to mow the lawn' To wife 'Our kids have been turned into sheep so you won't have to put them to bed Dig out a long frock and we'll go to the Harvest Ball' A shriek of delight greeted his wordsIt's so good to see Aiken practice what she preaches in The Way to Write for Children An Introduction to the Craft of Writing Children's Literature giving her stories many levels for parents to enjoy and for children to discover with time The story about the Furies 'The Apple of Trouble' and the description of adults' behavior when they see them confessing their shameful deeds is very entertainingI love the way Aiken represents magic as a normal yet still exciting part of life Mr Armitage's conflict with a teacher who turns out to be a witch; elderly irritable 'fairy ladies' from the neighbourhood who take offence on the slightest provocation; a tame unicornOn a final politically current note 'Goblin Music' is a great story to introduce children to the immigrant crisis Serious a death accidental is involved but effective


  9. Ghost Ryter Ghost Ryter says:

    Well I'm ruined for Mondays now The plain ordinary non Armitage Mondays that is the kind that's no different than any other day ButI don't suppose everyone can be so lucky as the Armitages and get Unicorns appearing on their lawns or Druids fighting in the exterior bathroom you won in a contest from a soap companyBesides it wouldn't be any fun to have Furies waiting outside your door or offended fairy ladies turning your cat into a werewolf And who wants a Griffin for a pet anyway?Excuse me I have to go look for a wishing stone


  10. Margaret Margaret says:

    Because of a wish Mrs Armitage made while she and Mr Armitage were on their honeymoon Mark and Harriet Armitage and their parents have a series of magical surprising things happen to them generally on Mondays unicorns witches spells fairy godmothers dragons griffins and even twenty three duchesses and a swimming pool full of pink ice cream These stories were really delightful and I can't imagine how I've missed reading any of them all these years probably my fault for tending to avoid short story collections even by favorite writers They're uirky and fanciful and I especially love how in a very Aikenish way every odd occurrence is simply taken for granted I'd find it hard to choose a favorite but the title story The Serial Garden stays in my mind because of its poignant ending


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10 thoughts on “The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories

  1. Maren Maren says:

    Joan Aiken is one of the most neglected and splendid Children's writers Best known for her Wolves Chronicles starting with The Wolves of Willoughby Chase about the adventures of children in a darkly Dickensian Alternate world in which James III rules England The tales in the Serial Garden are not as dark but just as inventive and fanciful The short stories follow the adventures of the Armitage family An ordinary British Family of the 1950s however Mrs Armitage on her honeymoon thought happily ever after sounded a little dull and wished on a wishing stone that things would never be boring but they couldn't have adventures everyday so Mondays were good but not always on Monday because that would be boring too The adventures focus primarily on the Armitage children Harriet and Mark who handle a variety of dangerous and magical happenings with a healthy share of creativity and calm British pluck Whether a Unicorn appears in their garden or their parents are turned into lady beetles or hatching a Griffin's egg in the linen closet the stories are full of humor and charmAiken was one of those remarkable writers who wrote both for children and adults and her children's books are those that can easily be enjoyed by adultsI was delighted to find this volume which collects all the Armitage stories for the first time

  2. Kate Coombs Kate Coombs says:

    When I read a writer like Joan Aiken I remember why I'm not giving five stars to a lot of other authors Over the years Aiken wrote a number of stories about the Armitage family an ordinary British family who have a unicorn in the garden shades of James Thurber Strange and magical things are especially likely to happen to the Armitages on Mondays but occasionally they happen on different days confusing everyone For supposedly old fashioned stories these tales kick the booty out of most of what's being written today Just to give you one example watch for the delicious absurdity of two elderly druid brothers fighting over a bathmat made of beard hair or the fact that the Borrowers type small people in this book are fairly obnoxious and tacky not darling Then there's the poignancy of the title story But whatever you do remember that griffins are not only expensive pets but heavy and that uince trees are stolen for a reason

  3. ^ ^ says:

    Exceptional My 'desert island' book From my childhood I already knew and deeply loved several of the stories published here But what inexpressible and absolute delight to find other Armitage stories that I was not previously acuainted with Gaps in my knowledge of Armitage family 'history' have thus now been very satisfyingly filled inMuch as I love my own parents I should have adored to have had Mr and Mrs Armitage as parents What fun that would have been The Armitages are a close knit family They are utterly English These stories 24 were published between 1953 and 2008; yet Mark and Harriet do not age significantly One unuestioningly accepts as being perfectly normal; because these stories are that good This is beautiful imaginative humourous sometime satiric poetic memorable read out aloudable absolutely brillient writing Don't miss it RIP Joan Aiken 1924 2004

  4. Monica Edinger Monica Edinger says:

    I was a bit skeptical when I heard about these because I'm not a big reader of short stories sorry and so loved Aiken's children's novels that I didn't think these would hold up Well they do than hold up They are absolutely magical Really The Armitage family comes out of the tradition of families like those of Nesbit or Eager There was for me even a tinge of the Peterkins in these stories though I assure you that these folks are not nearly as bumbling and there is no lady from Philadelphia to bail them out The humor often involving magic gone wrong is in the vein of Diana Wynne Jones There are sad moments too say the one of the poor music teacher and another involving a baby goblinI guess this is what is sometimes called domestic fantasy stuff that happens with this family in their small village that just seems to have witches unicorns and other magical stuff in the daily life of the place and people Highly recommended

  5. MB (What she read) MB (What she read) says:

    12309 intial read If like me you've grown up reading Joan Aiken you will enjoy this book I've always loved the stories featuring the Armitage Family scattered through Joan Aiken's many anthologies for their whimsy and sheer fun So it was truly wonderful to find them collected together for the first time I revisted many old favorites and found several new to me What a treasureRe read in 2012And re read again 72214

  6. Robin Gaphni Robin Gaphni says:

    Thanks goes to our wonderful children's librarian who steered me to this utterly delightful series of short stories Although many of the stories in Joan Aiken's The Serial Garden were originally published over fifty years ago they were completely new to me It's hard to believe I never discovered them before and I'm sorry that my children who are now teenagers never had the pleasure of hearing them read aloudThe Armitages are an English family in the 1950's who live a rather magical life It all starts when Mrs Armitage muses to Mr Armitage on their honeymoon that she's worried that living happily ever after could be a bit boring Serendipitously she finds a wishing stone and makes a wish that things won't be dull and that interesting and unusual things will happen to them perhaps on Mondays but not always Mondays because that could get boring too She also wishes that her future children will have a fairy godmother And that their house will have at least one ghost Right then and there the stories are bornFast forward twelve years or so and you meet Harriet and Mark their two plucky children who manage to handle all that comes their way with grace and humor There are witches and unicorns and best friends who are six inches tall Things often go awry and yet these two continue on seemingly unperturbed by the chaos that surrounds them They are curious and fearless whether they are encountering druid brothers fighting over a bathmat made of human hair or magical gardens that grow out of cereal boxes In one story an invisibility cloak is even mentioned and these were written years before Harry Potter came on the sceneThe stories are imaginative and well written with surprise twists and turns on almost every page Children who are avid readers will delight in visiting the world that Aiken has created But even importantly I think this would be a wonderful read aloud book for reluctant readers Parents could read a story a night to a child or teachers could read a story a day to a class It's a classic example of great storytelling and begs to be read aloud This is one book I think every family should own

  7. Lari Don Lari Don says:

    I may have just rediscovered the origin of my own fiction This is the complete collection of all the Armitage stories written by the fantasy writer Joan Aiken throughout her adult entire life from the age of 18 in the early 1940s until just a few years ago I read many of these stories in different collections when I was young but never all together As always when rereading something which inspired me when I was young but which is now of a warm fuzzy memory rather than something sharp and specific I was a bit hesitant about reading this collection And the first few stories were almost too short to get my teeth into and almost devoid of tension just lovely ideas stretched a little but very uickly I was hooked again The stories are about a seemingly ordinary family English middle class boarding schools maid and cook etc – ie not ordinary in my world but nevertheless an ordinary kind of literary Englishness who constantly have the strangest magical things happen to them furies on their doorstep a ghost as a lodger wizards reuisitioning their house unicorns on the lawn And the children Harriet and Mark just deal with everything in the same matter of fact way There are wonderful ideas in here the same apple causing problems all the way from Garden of Eden to Troy; how a witch copes with cooking children in a new fangled oven; the social awkwardness of going on a day trip with an invisible ghost Because these are short stories most ideas are just touched on in passing which can be frustrating – I would have loved to have spent time in most of these stories But you can see the origin of so much subseuent children’s fiction in the stunning imagination of Joan Aiken and I’m now wondering if the centaur on the doorstep of my very first novel is a direct descendant of the unicorn in the Armitages’ garden A brilliant collection and not just for adults revisiting their youth or fantasy writers looking for the gold standard my young daughter loved it too

  8. Bloodorange Bloodorange says:

    Disclaimer a collection of Aiken's stories was one of my favourite books in my late childhood and I was bound to be partial I loved The Serial Garden to bits for a few reasons apart from the excellent writing and the somewhat darkish feel of some of the stories I love how the author incorporates parents and what parents into their children's adventures; whatever transpires at the Armitage's on Mondays but sometimes other days too is a direct result of Mrs Armitage's honeymoon wish Parents' characters and not just Mrs and Mr Armitage feel real to me While I can imagine some voices of protests I find fragments such as the one below neighbours' reaction to having their three children turned into sheep cathartic 'Some peace and uiet will be a wonderful change and I shan't have to mow the lawn' To wife 'Our kids have been turned into sheep so you won't have to put them to bed Dig out a long frock and we'll go to the Harvest Ball' A shriek of delight greeted his wordsIt's so good to see Aiken practice what she preaches in The Way to Write for Children An Introduction to the Craft of Writing Children's Literature giving her stories many levels for parents to enjoy and for children to discover with time The story about the Furies 'The Apple of Trouble' and the description of adults' behavior when they see them confessing their shameful deeds is very entertainingI love the way Aiken represents magic as a normal yet still exciting part of life Mr Armitage's conflict with a teacher who turns out to be a witch; elderly irritable 'fairy ladies' from the neighbourhood who take offence on the slightest provocation; a tame unicornOn a final politically current note 'Goblin Music' is a great story to introduce children to the immigrant crisis Serious a death accidental is involved but effective

  9. Ghost Ryter Ghost Ryter says:

    Well I'm ruined for Mondays now The plain ordinary non Armitage Mondays that is the kind that's no different than any other day ButI don't suppose everyone can be so lucky as the Armitages and get Unicorns appearing on their lawns or Druids fighting in the exterior bathroom you won in a contest from a soap companyBesides it wouldn't be any fun to have Furies waiting outside your door or offended fairy ladies turning your cat into a werewolf And who wants a Griffin for a pet anyway?Excuse me I have to go look for a wishing stone

  10. Margaret Margaret says:

    Because of a wish Mrs Armitage made while she and Mr Armitage were on their honeymoon Mark and Harriet Armitage and their parents have a series of magical surprising things happen to them generally on Mondays unicorns witches spells fairy godmothers dragons griffins and even twenty three duchesses and a swimming pool full of pink ice cream These stories were really delightful and I can't imagine how I've missed reading any of them all these years probably my fault for tending to avoid short story collections even by favorite writers They're uirky and fanciful and I especially love how in a very Aikenish way every odd occurrence is simply taken for granted I'd find it hard to choose a favorite but the title story The Serial Garden stays in my mind because of its poignant ending

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