My friend recommended I read one of her favourite childhood books, My Naughty Little Sister by British author, Dorothy Edwards. This timeless children’s classic by Edwards captures the nuances of a child under the age of five very well. You can’t help but smile at the little sister’s spunky spontaneity and charming innocence. You can find the naughty little sister in this story in every child.
Take one glance at the cover and the drawings peppered throughout, and you’ll get the hunch that this book is written eons ago. The retro pen and ink illustrations are done by multiple award-winning illustrator cum author, Shirley Hughes.
Story Behind the Story
My Naughty Little Sister is based on the author’s younger sister, Phyllis. Edwards conceived the stories in 1950 to keep her daughter quiet while they were on a family vacation. Edwards went on to write five more books under the same series. This series sits well with independent readers between 7 and 8 years old, and pre-schoolers if their parents read to them. I bought the collection of five books – fifty-two stories – bound in a paperback from Woods in the Book for only S$24. What a steal!
This Book Reminds me of….
Edwards’ stories usually start off with “A long time ago, when I was a little girl, I had a little sister…” or “A long time ago, my naughty little sister….”. This writing style reminds me of Lauren Child’s Charlie and Lola where Charlie is the narrator and describes his little sister’s antics.
Not So Naughty
The naughtiness of her naughty little sister is very mild compared to the wicked deeds of Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon.
Sometimes, her little sister can be spiteful when she does not have her way – Like how she tosses her older sister’s fairy doll out of the window and it lands on a muddy puddle.
Sometimes, her little sister can be silly and funny. One day, she has a chance to join her older sister to school. When the teacher does an attendance check, the little sister is surprised that everyone replies by saying “Present”, so she shouts out, “I want a present, I want a present!”
The little sister’s best moments can be very touching. When her aunt reads her a story about a poor little boy with no breakfast, dinner and supper, she becomes very pensive. At supper, she leaves her piece of buttery bread on top of the little book boy’s picture. For a normally greedy child, her unexpected thoughtful deed shows she has a kind, tender heart.
I thoroughly recommend My Naughty Little Sister. Read it to your children or your little sister if you have one, and watch their faces light up, or enjoy it with a cup of tea and scones. It is indeed, a very good read!