The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories by Joan Aiken

The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories

Written by Joan Aiken
Illustrated by Peter Bailey
Part of the Virago Modern Classics Series


The Serial Garden The Complete Armitage Family Stories by Joan Aiken

'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 or something out of the ordinary for a pet. We could have a special day for interesting and unusual things to happen - say, Mondays. But not always Mondays, and not only Mondays, or 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.


Joan Aiken is a superb storyteller who refusal to skimp on sophisticated language, and the Armitage parents

* The Times, Children's Book of the Week * A delightful summary of one side of Aiken's talent: whimsical, funny, a series of brilliantly imaginative ideas stitched together with dream logic... It is the mixture of irrepressible gaiety and invention with the tragic that makes Aiken one of the great children's authors...impossible to calculate the number of people who have enjoyed her books - who have had some magic injected into the mundane * Sunday telegraph * A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination * Oxford Companion to Children's Literature * Often bonkers stories, always written with cut-glass precision . . . Aiken is a superb storyteller * The Times * Inexhaustibly imaginative, Aiken was one of the twentieth century's greatest children's authors. Witty, zany and entirely sane, this is a necklace of diamonds -- Amanda Craig * New Statesman * A delightful whimsical set of stories about young Mark and Harriet Armitage and the fantastical things that just happen to them, where if the lawn is full of unicorns you can count on their father to rush out and try to stop them eating the roses. These stories are funny and often unexpectedly poignant. They also don't have a wasted word or scrap of information. They're both charming and genuine in a way that few things manage -- Jo Walton A writer of wild humour and unrestrained imagination * Oxford Companion to Children's Literature * She was a consummate story-teller, one that each generation discovers anew -- Amanda Craig * The Times * Joan Aiken's invention seemed inexhaustible, her high spirits a blessing, her sheer storytelling zest a phenomenon. She was a literary treasure, and her books will continue to delight for many years to come -- Philip Pullman What a thrill to discover this gem from the witty and endlessly inventive Joan Aiken -- Chris Riddell

About the Author

Joan Aiken

Joan Aiken (1924 - 2004) spent part of her childhood living in a haunted house. After leaving school, she worked at the BBC, the United Nations, and in the editorial department of a magazine. All this time, she had been writing stories and after her first major novel was published in 1961, Joan left her job to write full-time. She has now written almost 100 books for adults and children, Including the hugely popular The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts In Battersea.

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Book Info


448 pages


Joan Aiken
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Author's Website


Virago Press Ltd an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group

Publication date

6th August 2015



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