'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Review: My Naughty Little Sister

Everything old is certainly new again (especially the verbally upated butchered Enid Blyton books) and Hardie Grant Egmont's reprinting of the My Naughty Little Sister series is such a welcome sight in a market saturated with a mind-boggling array of sadly churned-out fiction shoved in a pretty marketing packages.

First printed in the UK in 1952, the My Naughty Little Sister series is real storytelling. Charming, fun and oh so naughty, Dorothy Edwards' stories are the epitome of cheeky fun. With a goodie-two-shoes big sister narrating each chapter, kids will be constantly entertained with what her naughty little sister and her cohorts are getting up to next.

Of course a four-year-old gobbling too many cakes at a kiddie birthday party is not really considered 'rude' nowadays but it's still charming to see how horrifying such behaviour was deemed to be back in the 1950s.

But what struck me most about these books, despite their delicious dated-ness, is their almost modern take on the text's voice. Edwards writes with a childlike candour that's so real, you could close your eyes and hear a six-year-old speaking. Writing in this way (at least since Lauren Child and her Charlie and Lola series took the reigns) has become a contemporary way to entrance young readers - and in this regard, Edwards was well ahead of her time.

Superb, traditional cross-hatched ink sketches by Shirley Hughes make this series pure retro delight, and I guarantee one book will not be enough. The books are an easy, thoroughly entertaining read - but be warned, you'll be battling your daughter - or son - for a peek into the naughtiness.

Title: My Naughty Little Sister
Author: Dorothy Edwards
Illustrator: Shirley Hughes
Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont, A$12.95RRP
Publication Date: 1 December 2010
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781405253345
For ages: 6 - 9
Type: Junior Fiction

More books in this series:


  1. Oh Yes! The Naughty Little Sister books are terrific (and much loved by my eldest, who has her own naughty little sister!)

  2. I used to enjoy the original Naughty Little Sister books when I was a tot, and have just given them a mention on my own website. Didn't realise there were updated versions.

  3. My four-year old son and I have just discovered these books (and the audiobook versions delightfully narrated by Jan Francis). I just thought it would be worth emphasizing that these stories are not just for girls! My boy is captivated by them, and I suspect he would not be alone in that. So don't hesitate to introduce My Naughty Little Sister to boy readers too!

  4. Good point, India - and we agree here at KBR!


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