My Naughty Little Sister was one of my favourite childhood books and I’m delighted that my daughter loves her as much as I do. The stories were first published in 1952 and are brought to life through Shirley Hughes’ wonderful illustrations. They were inspired by Dorothy’s younger sister Phyllis and Dorothy created the stories to entertain her young daughter while they were on holiday.
The My Naughty Little Sister stories are set in a time before television, when children could play safely in the streets and when fathers went out to work and mothers were the primary caregivers. My Naughty Little Sister lives with her mother and father and her older sister. She has a best friend, Bad Harry, who is often as naughty as she is, and she also has a particularly special relationship with her neighbour, Mrs Cocoa Jones, so named because My Naughty Little Sister goes next door to drink hot chocolate for elevenses.
We have several editions of My Naughty Little Sister and I remember my mother reading me stories from this edition of the book when I was in hospital as a child, it’s one of my first memories of having stories read to me. I still have the book which is now very battered and has yellow pages. Published in the 1970s it includes twenty stories and cost just 25p but sadly there is no recognition of Shirley Hughes as the illustrator on the cover.
Our favourite story is My Naughty Little Sister At The Party, it’s Bad Harry’s birthday and his mum has made a very big trifle. While the other guests are playing games My Naughty Little Sister and Harry decide to taste the trifle…
We also love Going Fishing in which My Naughty Little Sister ignores her mothers’s instructions to stay out of the water. But she could be good too, she really behaved herself when she visited her sister’s school.
Two of our most cherished charity shop finds are the My Naughty Little Sister Storybook which is now out of print but also includes several of the stories from our other book and The Complete My Naughty Little Sister, also out of print. Shirley Hughes is prominently credited on the cover and the illustrations in both are in full colour.
Our favourite stories are My Naughty Little Sister and the Workmen, the workmen laying pipes in the street are not very happy when the two children play with their lunch, and we love The Cross Photograph which gives an insight into how photos were taken before the invention of digital cameras.
We also love reading The Naughtiest Story of All although My Naughty Little Sister’s behaviour when she meets Father Christmas is absolutely shocking!
We often listen to Jan Francis reading the stories on long car journeys. There are fifteen stories which include Bad Harry’s birthday party, the fishing expedition and The Naughtiest Story of All.
The stories all include scenarios and experiences that will be familiar to children which and despite being written over fifty years ago they have stood the test of time. My Naughty Little Sister visits the pantomime, goes to the dentist with a wobbly tooth, gets lost at the fair, learns to knit and also gets rather carried away with a pair of scissors and some lovely shiny material.
It’s so lovely to enjoy childhood favourite stories with my daughter. I was slightly concerned that some of them would give her ideas about misbehaving but that definitely wasn’t the case. She found them entertaining and funny although sometimes the bad behaviour shocked her too!
Did you read My Naughty Little Sister as a child? Do you have a favourite story?
Age Range: 5 +