'Milly-Molly-Mandy Goes Carol-Singing' by Joyce Lankester Brisley
Illustrations by the author
Short Story (1932)
Milly-Molly-Mandy, Billy Blunt and little-friend-Susan bring joy to the village with their free-of-charge carolling.
What a change in tone from Adrian Mole! As I was re-reading the story, after many years, I thought Millicent Margaret Amanda and the rest of the gang should take money for charity; then it occurred to me that in their world, there are no needy people. These stories are simple, easy to read and perfectly charming. They are some of the first that I used to read to myself, and there is a great deal to enjoy, from the idyllic lives of the characters to some innocently dodgy-sounding titles. I have never forgotten the illustration of the three friends singing their carols, but I had forgotten some of the lovely images in the story, such as the description of the Christmas display in Mrs Muggins's shop window and Mother, Grandma and Aunty mixing the Christmas pudding. Sweet, simple and delightful as we wait for the one-week countdown.
'We could do it outside people's houses on Christmas Eve. Ooh, let's!'
Joyce Lankester Brisley, Further Doings of Milly-Molly-Mandy, The Adventures of Milly-Molly-Mandy (Puffin Books, 1992), p.358.