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My Friend Mr. Leakey Paperback – Illustrated, 1 Aug 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Jane Nissen Books; New edition edition (1 Aug. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903252199
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903252192
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.2 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 340,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Mr Leakey is a practical magician. He can become invisible when he wants to, has a useful magic carpet for travelling and a small dragon who can grill fish by spitting fire. He's also very good at bewitching things!


Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was probably my favourite book when I was little. I can't imagine how many times I've read it- for me, the perfect blend of reality and fantasy. It's also very funny and neatly written- by J.B.S. Haldane, a leading authority on genetics in his time, and a very famous scientist indeed. There are 6 stories in the book- A Meal With A Magician, A Day in the Life of a Magician, Mr Leakey's Party, Rats, The Snake With the Golden Teeth, My Magic Collar Stud. If you buy any of the later editions, it'll be illustrated by Quentin Blake.
The whole tone of the writing is confiding and breezy, with the author taking the craziest things perfectly in stride- a very calm, English attitude, and the settings are slightly quaint-seeming now, but again, very English and of their time. It nails perfectly the knack of referring to things that may be over the readers head without confusing them, so although there are some allusions in there you might not understand until you're older, it never spoils the story. It's also very short, which is a shame, as to my knowledge it's the only fiction Mr Haldane ever wrote. A must-read, though.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm another in the band of Leakevists. What really impressed me, growing up (this is a book that, like ALL the best children's books, you never actually grow out of) is, reading the Puffin blurb, that he was a Communist - that and his underwater wartime experiments. Then there's the interplay between a bemused narrator who both is and is not the author himself (dizzying!) and an affable protagonist both airily and confidentially superior who must surely reflect more of the real Professor - both incontestably adults, giving one what felt like a warped and privileged window into the adult world - plus the factoid, duly stored away, that mangoes (what they, if not in Green Label chutney?) must be eaten in the bath

Four stars only because publisher Jane Nissen (kudos, though) went with wispy Quentin Blake rather than the solid (that umbrella ferule!), mildly eccentric, charmingly sinister original (still gettable on line); this book's about MAGIC, not laughs. Branestawm was luckier - but he did start out with Heath Robinson (in the 1st book at least). I don't think there's a QB book I like, and he's done hundreds. OK, Mr Magnolia. Not for the pics, tho' - bland, bland, bland. Me, I'm more of a Hale, Hughes, Bayley (La Corona and the Tin Frog? killer!), Oxenbury, Ahlberg kinda guy
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By A Customer on 31 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
I read and re-read this book as a child over 30 years ago and loved it so much that eventually my copy fell apart. It is really quirky and fun and should appeal to the younger end of the Harry Potter generation. I am looking forward to tracking down a copy to share with my 7 year old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was so glad to find this classic story still available. I remember it vividly from back in the early 1960s, when I read it over and again many times. It was great to read it now, and find that I still remembered what happened. My special favourite was the rubber-toothed dog ... Mr Leakey deserves to bring joy to many more kids, young and old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd completely forgotten the existence of this book, which I read as a child. But I came across the name of J B S Haldane the other day, remembered he'd written a children's book so did the usual internet search. When I saw the title I could remember how I'd loved it when I was 10-ish. So, now I have it again and it seems better than ever. Mr Leakey the magician is quite a character and the new illustrations are perfectly judged. Suitable for children from 8 to 80.
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