fiction favorites…The Jamie and Angus Stories

the jamie and angus stories cover imageThe Jamie and Angus Stories, by Anne Fine, illustrated by Penny Dale
published 2002 by Candlewick Press

“Tell me the story of how I grew out of my stroller.”
Daddy reeled around the bedroom, clutching his head. “Oh, no. Not again! I’ve told you a million, billion times.”
“So, this time, tell Angus.”
Daddy sank onto the end of the bed, and Jamie tucked Angus in neatly beside him under the covers, with just his eyes and nose and front hooves sticking out.
“Quite sure he’s comfy?” Daddy asked.
“Yes. Go on with the story.”
Daddy turned to Angus. “Well Angus. This is how it happened. Young Jamie here was getting on for nearly four whole years old –“
“I was three and a half,” Jamie corrected him.
“Who’s telling this story?” Daddy asked. “You, or me?”
“You,” Jamie said.
“And who am I telling?”
“Right,” Daddy said. “So don’t interrupt.”
And he went back to the tale of how Jamie grew out of his stroller.

And what a tale it is! So funny.

Jamie is a preschool boy, and Angus is his much-loved stuffed toy — a shaggy Highland bull. They live in a home full of love and good humor.

the jamie and angus stories illustration penny dale

This charming collection of six stories about the two of them completely won my heart. Besides Jamie’s good-natured mom and dad, we meet his easy-going Uncle Edward,  his active Granny, and Flora, his sweet, soon-to-be-married baby-sitter.

Read about Angus’ arrival and first washing, Uncle Edward’s attempts at putting Jamie to bed, Flora’s wedding day, Dad’s funny recollection of Jamie’s stroller, a trip to the hospital with some very tempting candies, and a day of practicing being a grown-up.

Gentle, delightful stories that would make a great early chapter book or a

Who wouldn't want one of these fellows for a companion?!

Who wouldn’t want one of these fellows for a companion?!

sweet read-aloud for young listeners. Coming from the UK, the book contains many britishisms which are so appealing to some of us. Penny Dale’s pleasant, soft pencil drawings make Jamie feel like a boy we might know.

There’s another set of them, Jamie and Angus Together, if you like these as much as I do. I really wish I’d had them when my kids were young.