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Jennings and Darbishire: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: Jennings and Darbishire

Author: Anthony Buckeridge

Publisher: Collins

Format: Print

Genre: Vintage children’s fiction

Publication Date: 1952

Star Rating: 5/5

Jennings and Darbishire is a novel in the much-loved ‘Jennings’ series of vintage children’s books.

Jennings and his best friend are pupils at Linbury Court Preparatory School. They are about eleven or twelve years old.

Jennings and Darbishire opens on Jennings’ birthday. He is lucky enough to receive not just a camera but also a small printing press.

There’s also a homemade birthday cake. And Jennings gets his favourite pudding for lunch.

So, a birthday at school can’t be all bad, and he’s even let off a punishment when he mentions that today is his birthday.

But Jennings and trouble are old friends. Just getting out of bed earlier than the rules allow to check his presents have arrived gets Jennings a telling off.

Using the printing press for a test run leads to many of the tiny letters getting lost in the carpet and then vacuumed up.

The two boys quickly come up with the idea of starting a newspaper for their form.

The Form Three Times is born.

Two boys head off one Sunday to photograph the harbour so that they can write a story about it for their newspaper.

They visit a French fishing boat and are made welcome despite the language barrier. They are also presented with a bag of fish.

Jennings and Darbishire immediately decide to throw the fish away on the walk back to school, but a dogwalker makes that impossible.

It then dawns on them that a fried-fish breakfast would be delicious. They hide the fish in Jennings’ tuckbox and decide to cook it in the room where they develop their photographs using the developing dish as a frying pan.

Naturally, the attempt ends in flames. The fish must also be concealed somewhere quickly, so Jennings is forced to make the best of it.

Retrieving the fish later on, however, proves rather tricky…

More adventures follow, with the newspaper providing the vehicle for a number of challenges and ensuing punishments.

The whole story hung together nicely, and the plot developed well from the initial birthday to various trips away from school, all of which end in disaster.

I loved the Jennings series, and Jennings and Darbishire was particularly funny. It must be the fish.

Thank you for reading my review.

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John C Adams Reviews Jennings and Darbishire

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