Stella and Rose's Books Logo

Stella & Rose's Books

Specialists in Rare & Collectable Books

Bunty and the boo-boos by Mabel Lucie Attwell

The Boo-Boos? What kind of weird characters does the name Boo-Boos conjure up in your mind? If I didn't know what the Boo-Boos were, I guess I would say that they were some kind of nasty monsters that come out from under the bed at night time! BUT I'd be wrong!

The Boo-Boos are the creation of Mabel Lucie Attwell. They are a cheery, chubby, not at all scary, group of 'do-gooding' elves or pixies, dressed in green suits and led by a crown-wearing king.

I have always been a fan of Attwell but until recently had not actually seen one of the Boo-Boo books in the flesh as they are quite scarce little books. So, while we had a copy in stock, I thought I would take a quick look at "Bunty and the Boo-Boos" (the first in the series of six books) and find out what it is all about. What a strange little story it is but I can imagine it makes a very good bedtime story for little ones.

The story starts...

"It was the Green Umbrella's doing really, for if he had not suddenly turned inside out and flown away over the seas, carrying Bunty, Mops, and Queen Elizabeth with him, they would never have found the Boo-Boos. That's quite certain!"

Bunty is a young girl, Mops is a dog and Queen Elizabeth is Bunty's toy doll. When they arrive at the land of the Boo-Boos (with a bumpity-bumpy!) they discover that they are meant to have tickets to attend the Boo-Boo Concert that evening. As they don't have any tickets, the little fellow who greets them insists that they go and see the King.

The story continues with the King instantly falling in love with Bunty (how sweet!) and wondering how he could possibly have her always. He asks Bunty if she can cook (we learn at the beginning of the story that the Boo-Boos have just sacked their cook as all the food tasted the same!) Bunty replies that she only cooks mud pies (yuck), but the King doesn't give up and he dispatches a messenger to the Wise Bird in order for Bunty to learn to cook. The King and Bunty quickly become great friends and they try their hands at cooking porridge together. However, while the porridge is simmering away they attend the Boo-Boos concert and, naturally, forget all about the porridge. No surprises for guessing... the porridge is ruined!

The King is quite forgiving about this catastrophe and, in order to comfort Bunty who is distraught at the ruined porridge, he suggests that she has a lie down in one of their houses. But - the houses are too small for Bunty - never mind for Mops and Queen Elizabeth as well. At this the King is heart broken - he realises he must return Bunty to her mother as it's not practical for her to stay in the land of the Boo-Boos. The next morning Bunty awakes with a glorious plan - "Why not ALL go back to Mother?"

The story concludes....

"So it came to pass, and the Green Umbrella carries them safely home to Bunty's Mother. And she was surprised. And if in her heart of hearts she thought there would be a number of little faces to wash, and stockings to mend, and mouths to fill, she said not a word, but opening wide her arms, took them all in and loved them to their hearts content. God bless her!"

Such a sweet little story! And, of course, beautifully illustrated with delightful colour plates. "Bunty and the Boo-Boos" is the first of six in the series, all published in the early 1920's by Valentine & Sons. The Boo-Boos stay with Bunty and her Mother throughout the series, attending school, going to the seaside and having lots of other adventures. The scarcity of these collectable little books makes them some of the most sought-after of Lucie Attwell's works.

The titles in the series are:

Bunty and the Boo-Boos 
The Boo Boos at School 
The Boo-Boos and Bunty's Baby 
The Boo-Boos at the Seaside 
The Boo-Boos at Honeysweet Farm 
The Boo-Boos and Santa Claus

Contributed by Maria Goddard

(Published 4th Dec 2014)

Related Stock