• R.I.P. Mary Rayner, 89, in Feb. (British writer/illustrator: "Garth Pig

    From Lenona@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jun 5 17:13:29 2023

    By Julia Eccleshare.


    ...In Garth Pig and the Icecream Lady (1977), Mrs Wolf is now Madame Lupino, her pink and brown Volfswagon bringing danger to the piglets on a hot summer day. Lured by the ice-cream, Garth is stolen away and must be rescued by his determined siblings who
    chase the Volfswagon on their 10-piglet bicycle. Moving away from the pig versus wolf theme, Mary wrote stories reflecting preschool life including Mrs Pig’s Bulk Buy (1981), one of the best books about children’s love of tomato ketchup, and Mrs Pig
    Gets Cross and Other Stories (1987), a longer collection that drew on episodes from her own children’s lives although, as she later wrote: “I am not, repeat not, Mrs Pig.” The latter includes Lettuce is Too Flat, a story about being the youngest in
    the family and hating lettuce, as well as The Potato Patch, a perfectly observed story that deals with young children’s confusion about planting and growing.

    Mary wrote several other picture books and novels for children including Reilly (1987), the story of a streetwise cat fighting for a territory of his own, and The Echoing Green (1992), which picked up on the traumatic past of her own family.

    The daughter of Yoma (nee Wilkinson) and Aubrey Grigson, Mary was born in Mandalay in Burma (now Myanmar) and lived there for the first eight years of her life. Her father, who worked for the Bombay Burma Trading Company, was one of seven brothers whose
    family had the tragic distinction of losing most sons in the two world wars – only two of the seven survived, one of them the poet Geoffrey Grigson.

    Writing and illustrating little books of stories was a constant in Mary’s fractured and drama-filled wartime childhood. Although her family lived so far from “home”, as they always referred to the UK, her avid childhood reading was entirely based
    around classic and contemporary English books and their influence was obvious in her own work.

    In her memoir, No More Tigers (2020), Mary wrote of her happy life in Burma until it became too dangerous to remain. “In 1942, when I was eight, I walked out of Burma,” she wrote, before describing the extraordinary journey to safety of Mary and her
    two siblings, Ann and Stephen, led by their mother, and the terrible wrench of leaving her father behind, serving in the allied forces. Three months later, Aubrey was killed by the Japanese.

    The family settled in India in Kotagiri, a small hill station, and Mary went to school at Nazareth Convent, Ootacamund. They returned to Britain in 1945 and Mary went to St Swithun’s school, Winchester, then the University of St Andrews. After
    graduating with an English degree, she worked in publishing until her marriage to the psychoanalyst Eric Rayner in 1960 and the birth of their three children...


    (brief tribute from the Dick King-Smith family)

    (this has a few read-alouds)

    (three Kirkus reviews)

    (reader reviews)

    Most of what I posted in 2013:

    Born in Mandalay, Burma, she went to school at the Nazareth Convent in Ootacamund, India, and then in Winchester, England in 1945.

    She lives in Wiltshire, England.

    Also the illustrator of Dick King-Smith's "The Sheep-Pig," aka "Babe."

    About "Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady":

    "When Garth Pig tries to buy ice cream, he is kidnapped by Mrs. Wolf, driver of the ice cream truck."

    (book covers)

    (Anita Silvey's entry for Rayner)



    The Witch-Finder, Macmillan (London, England), 1975, Morrow (New York, NY), 1976.
    Mr. and Mrs. Pig's Evening Out, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1976.
    Garth Pig and the Ice Cream Lady, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1977.

    The Rain Cloud, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1980.
    Mrs. Pig's Bulk Buy, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1981.
    Crocodarling, Collins (London, England), 1985, Bradbury Press, 1986.
    Mrs. Pig Gets Cross and Other Stories, Collins (London, England), 1986, Dutton (New York, NY), 1987.
    Reilly, Gollancz (London, England), 1987.
    Oh Paul!, Heinemann (London, England), 1988, Barron, 1989.
    Bathtime for Garth Pig, Picture Lions, 1989.
    Marathon and Steve, Dutton (New York, NY), 1989.
    Rug, Collins/Forest House (London, England), 1989.

    Garth Pig Steals the Show, Dutton (New York, NY), 1993.
    One by One: Garth Pig's Rain Song, Dutton (New York, NY), 1994.
    Ten Pink Piglets: Garth Pig's Wall Song, Dutton (New York, NY), 1994.
    Wicked William, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1996.
    The Small Good Wolf, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1997.


    Open Wide, illustrated by Kate Simpson, Longman, 1990.
    The Echoing Green, illustrated by Michael Foreman, Viking (New York, NY), 1992. Shark Sunday, Viking (New York, NY), 1997.

    "Contributor to anthologies, including Allsorts Six, edited by Ann Thwaite, Methuen, 1974; Allsorts Seven, edited by Ann Thwaite, Methuen, 1975; Young Winters' Tales Seven, edited by M. R. Hodgkin, Macmillan, 1976; Hidden Turnings, edited by Diana Wynne-
    Jones, Methuen, 1989; Stories for the Very Young, edited by Sally Grindley, Kingfisher, 1989; Animal Stories for the Very Young, edited by Sally Grindley, Kingfisher, 1994; and Best Stories for Six Year Olds, Hodder, 1995. Contributor of stories to


    Daphne Ghose, Harry, Lutterworth, 1973.
    Stella Nowell, The White Rabbit, Lutterworth, 1975.
    Griselda Gifford, Because of Blunder, Gollancz (London, England), 1977. Griselda Gifford, Cass the Brave, Gollancz (London, England), 1978.
    Partap Sharma, Dog Detective Ranjha, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1978.

    Dick King-Smith, Daggie Dogfoot, 1980, published as Pigs Might Fly, Viking (New York, NY), 1982.
    Emma Tennant, The Boggart, Granada (London, England), 1980.
    Jan Mark, The Dead Letter Box, Hamish Hamilton (London, England), 1982.
    Anthea Colbert, Mr. Weller's Long March, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1983.
    Dick King-Smith, Magnus Powermouse, Gollancz (London, England), 1982, Harper (New York, NY), 1984.
    Dick King-Smith, The Sheep-Pig, 1983, published as Babe: The Gallant Pig, Crown (New York, NY), 1985.
    Pat Thomson, Thank You for the Tadpole, Gollancz (London, England), 1987. Griselda Gifford, Revenge of the Wildcat, Canongate, 1989.

    Anita Briggs, Hobart, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

    No More Tigers: The heartbreaking true story of a family torn apart by WW2 (2020)

    "Also illustrator of Silver's Day, by Griselda Gifford; and Lost and Found, by Jill Paton Walsh."

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)