Classic Children’s Literature Event 2015: ‘The Cuckoo Clock’ by Mrs. Molesworth ****

‘The Cuckoo Clock’ is one of the children’s books I discovered fairly recently, due to a review Kirsty had once written on Goodreads. I didn’t have the opportunity to read it as a child, since it had never been translated into my first language, Greek (at least it hadn’t when I was a kid). However, thanks to a lovely challenge I discovered too late and also thanks to my beloved library that had a copy of this book, I was able to read it despite the delay.

6801346 I was really excited to read this book, mainly because of the nice comments I had read about it, but also because I love such tales of fantasy and adventure as this one. From the very beginning of the story, a very familiar and heartwarming feeling engulfed me and even though I hadn’t read the book before, the entire experience felt so nostalgic, like revisiting an old friend you haven’t seen nor spoken to in years. I loved the atmosphere and all the ‘British-ness’ of the story; it made me long to travel inside the pages and locate myself at that very same time and place. Which, again, is a feeling I had as a child when I read those really good books.

The main character of the story, Griselda, was a girl I found myself liking and empathizing with from the beginning (though no apparent reason for empathy existed). Her curiosity and fascination with everything new the cuckoo exposed her to, as well as the moments of boredom and distress she experienced (without being a spoilt little kid that desires things to be done in her own way), very well reminded me of a plethora of my favourite childhood book heroines, and that alone was enough to make me develop a great liking towards her character. The ethic and moral messages were spread throughout the story, and Griselda herself comes to realise certain things by the end, and thus we watch her character develop.

I really enjoyed the descriptions of the places the cuckoo travelled to with Griselda, but I felt that there could perhaps be some more adventure in them. The edition I borrowed from the library was a beautiful 1954 hardback that, apart from the wonderful design of cuckoos and butterflies on the cover, also included some marvelous pictures in between the text. Reading adult novels for more than ten years now, I had forgotten the magic a children’s chapter book with pretty drawings can evoke.

‘The Cuckoo Clock’ is a book I really wish I had read when I was little, since I’m sure I would have thoroughly enjoyed it and it would have added to my childhood experiences and longing for devouring great books. It was such books, full of mythical creatures, adventure and fairies that made me fall in love with fantasy literature in the first place. However, I’m really glad I had the chance to read it now, at least, since it helped me remember this nostalgic feeling of reading good literature as a kid and being fascinated by it.

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11 thoughts on “Classic Children’s Literature Event 2015: ‘The Cuckoo Clock’ by Mrs. Molesworth ****

  1. Such a darling review! I am so pleased that you enjoyed this, and you’ve made me want to read it all over again. I think you would really enjoy ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ by Philippa Pearce – it has a similar feel to ‘The Cuckoo Clock’, and reminded me of it throughout. 🙂

    • Aw, thank you so much 😀 That’s brilliant, I will definitely look for ‘Tom’s Midnight Garden’ now – it sounds so very lovely! 🙂

      • You’re very welcome, my dear! Oh, it is! It’s set in my county too, so I’m a little biased. It is such a sweet novel though, and really enchanted me when I was younger.

  2. I was lucky enough to inherit this book from my grandparents and I loved it as a child. The illustrations by Maria Kirk are beautiful. I’m glad it helped you recapture some of the magic of childhood.

    • You are so very lucky to inherit such a beautiful book! My grandpa has given me some of his books and they are all so lovely and pretty. Thank you so much for your nice comment 🙂 It’s great when books have that effect on you.

  3. I’d not heard of The Cuckoo Clock, but it sounds absolutely lovely. I love it whenever a book gives me the nostalgic feeling this one gave you. Thanks for joining in the event!

    • Thank you so much for hosting this event! 🙂 I really enjoyed participating in it~ And yes, it’s absolutely beautiful when books do that 🙂

  4. Pingback: Wrap-Up: The Classic Children’s Literature Event, 2015 | Simpler Pastimes

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