Griffins ( {Strange | Awkward | The Trouble With } Magic )

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Mon Mar 6 08:38:31 EST 2000

A discussion a couple of weeks ago:

>>> I do suddenly remember another children's book with a griffin in it. A
>>> light, but not too flimsy story. Can't recall title or author though. It was
>>> the standard treasure hunt with magicial creature guide story, IIRC, it took
>>> place in Brighton and there were two children involved (boy and girl) the
>>> griffin was about the size of a large dog, and masqueraded as one. The
>>> treasure that they eventually turned up was a set of china which had been
>>> commissioned for the Brighton Pavilion.
>>That is exactly the book I was trying to remember in my rather cryptic earlier
>>message.  For some reason, the name of Elizabeth Beresford is still connected
>>with it in my mind.
> Yes, that's _Strange Magic_ by E. Beresford.
> What originally started as a quick walk down to the village for food for
> lunch (cheese, of course!), turned into a quick walk, the purchase of the
> cheese, a visit to the bookshop, the purchase of two (second-hand) books,
> and a quick visit to the library.  There, the name Beresford escaped me,
> but the book happened to be on display on top of the shelf, with a very
> noticable (if rather ugly) picture of a griffin on the front.  Isn't
> serendipity a wonderful thing?

Well done, Hallie!

I visited my parents at the weekend, and my Mama managed to dig out "Awkward
Magic" by Beresford.  Must be another of these books that has different titles
in different editions, although the cover is as you describe it.

She also found "The Trouble With Magic", which turns out to be by Ruth Chew, and
seems not to be a griffin book after all.  Who was it mentioned Ruth Chew among
their favourite authors not long ago?

Last Christmas, I gave my Mama books 2 and 3 of the Harry Potter series.  Now
she's read them, I am borrowing them.  I have just read Chamber of Secrets - not
bad, but I'm biased, because I have a soft spot for Ford Anglias (best car I
ever owned, not excepting my present Mercedes).  Prisoner of Azkaban (?sp) has,
would you believe it, a griffin on the front cover, so it might be a griffin
book.  Serendipity again?

Rather revealing conversation, though (given both my parents are DWJ fans):

I:  May I borrow both Harry Potter books if I don't finish Chamber of Secrets?

Mama:  Ask your father, he wants to read them next.

Papa:  No I don't!  I can't stand them!

I took this as permission, and quietly left to pack the books...


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