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4.0 out of 5 stars
The Lost Happy Endings
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2008
We have used this book with more than 50 schools, the language is rich, the illustrations are inspiring and when you read to the point when she finds a golden pen the children cannot help but want to write. The beautiful descriptions help children to become lost in the world and their imagination takes them into the woods where Jub lives. They love to explore her home and how she lives. Children from age 5-11 have loved to listen to us telling the story and have become spell-bound.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 4 January 2007
A dark and powerful picture book for older children, Jane Ray's illustrations perfectly complement Carol Ann Duffy's beautiful prose. Duffy brings a fantastic lyricism to the language that is all too often lacking in children's books. The witch has "fierce red eyes like poisonous berries" and her touch "nipped like pepper". Children's literature is much richer for this partnership - more please!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2010
The Lost Happy Endings

Carol Ann Duffy's book is an outstanding masterpiece with beautiful illustrations and packed with powerful similes. This is the story of a six-fingered magical girl, who is the guardian of all the happy endings. Unfortunately, the happy endings are stolen by a haggard, demonic witch. After this every child in the land experiences nightmares and begins to wet the bed!!! In our opinion, this book is suitable for ages 7+.

By The Detectives
St Mary's C of E Primary School
Cadishead
Salford
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2011
I'm a school librarian, with a deep interest in P4C (Philosophy for Children) and was looking for books to add to the stimuli bank. This seemed a likely candidate, but I was a little wary due to some of the reviews. However, I thought I'd chance it for a little over £[..].

Books such as these are designed to make the reader (including young children) think. (Why IS that bit written in a different font, for example?) No doubt the people who have such negative thoughts about this are the same sort who won't read "Not Now, Bernard" because it "is about a little boy who is eaten by a monster". If the parents can't or won't think, what chance do the children have?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2014
Which I suppose is a bit ironic, that in a book about getting the right endings to bedtime stories, the author didn't manage to come up with a satisfactory ending for her own book.

Spoilers ahead if that matters.

The good points:
The main character is a 6-fingered girl who lives in a tree and whose job it is is to release all of the happy endings for children's bedtime stories into the night so that the children can sleep peacefully. One night a witch robs her of her bag of happy endings, which leads to all the traditional fairy tales ending horribly and children having nightmares. The main character dreams of finding a magic golden pen that can write on the sky and when she wakes up the pen is there.

All of this is brilliant, magical and imaginative and wondrous, what's really poor is what she chooses to do with it.

With a magic pen whose stories come true, she decides to write that the witch burns to death trying to light a fire and that the smell of her burning to death leads the main character to the bag of happy endings. She has a magic pen whose stories apparently come true, and that's the best solution she can come up with? Seems to teach children to be petty and vengeful in my opinion. She could have spent the night writing her own endings to the bedtime stories, she could write that when the witch finds out what she's stolen she becomes repentant, she could do anything! All the details of what makes the witch a witch are things that the main character writes into reality herself! The witch could have been a proper villain who's grand plan is foiled instead of just a bully who dies for pushing someone over.

I still see some value in this book, but only if, after the main character puts the magic pen to the sky and starts to write, instead of reading on with the rest of the book you turn to your child and ask them what does she write. Ignore what's written in the book after that. (this unfortunately means you also have to ignore the illustrations, I'd suggest replacing them with cards from Dixit or something if you or your child need inspiration for how to finish the story).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 29 January 2009
The lost happy endings' is a magical book with beautiful illustrations, My son loved it and even my daughter who is 25 was entranced by the lovely images. A short and clever story supported by fabulous pictures.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 January 2010
It's beautifully illustrated and a very interesting story.

Some reviewers recommend this for older children because it might be a bit scary at points I suppose. What I can say is that our 4 years old loves it, reads at bedtime and has never complained about it. It comes out time after time.

Thoroughly recommend it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 December 2007
We borrowed this book from the library this morning and I have just read it to my soon to be 5 year old (unfortunately, as a bed time story). The language used is brilliant, but the story is a bit too scary, including a pretty detailed description of how the witch burns to death, and what she looks like while on fire. Ive seen this book rated in the 0-5 age group, but entirely disagree and think it should be 7-9 and not for faint hearted children. I definately will not be buying this book. I am on here looking for a more cheery story by same author though.
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on 25 September 2013
Although this may possibly succeed in being a beautifully written and illustrated traditional style story (I bought it to read to a year 2 class whose topic is "traditional tales") I found myself unexpectedly needing to skip the illustrations and replacing some of Carol Ann Duffy's words!!! Just to scary. This was such a shame. In my experience the children old enough to cope with atvkeast three seriously demonic full page pictures of acwitch burning to death are probably to mature to appreciate the sweet tale that lies within: a little girl called Jub who scatters happy endings across the night sky. Sorry...I'm usually more radical in my own story telling but I had to censor this one! Who is it aimed at?
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on 8 June 2014
I first saw this at a literacy curriculum training event for primary school governors and was very impressed by the engaging story telling together with its combination of imaginative language and illustration. I bought it for the school with two other Carol Ann Duffy illustrated children's books.
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