It is times like this that I wonder what I was reading as a child. And why did I never read any Joan Aiken?
Would the child-me have enjoyed the Armitage family’s antics as much as the adult-me does today?
Because it was such a fun, silly, charming and enchanting read that I so wished I could share with my kids.
(They’re 2 and 4 and while they are developing their own sense of humour, I don’t think they’re ready to appreciate this book quite yet.)
What is an Armitage Family story?, you may wonder.
Well, there is Mark and his sister Harriet, and of course their parents, Mr and Mrs Armitage. Mark and Harriet are very likable, rather sweet kids, to whom delightfully odd things happen. Their parents often get turned into things, but react in very straitlaced manners. Like fundraisers and business meetings. Although the fundraiser is for the Distressed Old Fairy Ladies and Mr Armitage takes his meeting as an insect. As in, oh I am an insect, oh bother, here, son just take me to my office so I can conduct my meeting anyway.
You know, because these things happen. And mostly on Mondays. Because on Mondays, “unusual things were allowed, and even expected to happen at the Armitage house”.
One of my favourite stories involved Brekkfast Brikks, a dusty kind of cereal with a cut-out garden on the back. A magical cut-out garden that is!
And the one where Mr Peake, the ghost who lives in the house, takes Harriet out from school for the holiday weekend.
Or maybe it’s the one where the unicorn makes its appearance.
It’s just full of wonderful stories to read, reread and share. Whether it’s a Monday or not.
“Well,” she allowed, “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 too.”