WALLACE, Ivy Lillian (1915-2006) was a British actress, author and illustrator born in Grimsby. She was the author of several children’s series, including ‘The Animal Shelf’ series and ‘The Young Warrenders’ books but is mainly remembered for her Pookie stories, a series of ten picture books in which a little white rabbit with wings puts the world to rights. The stories combine magical fantasy with a gentle moral undertone, depicting both the animal and fairy worlds so loved by children, and the accompanying colour illustrations are beautifully detailed.
1. Pookie (1946/7): The first book in the series in which the little white rabbit is teased about his tiny wings so he sets out to seek his fortune and finds a friend in Belinda. This copy is the revised edition, reissued in 2000.
2. Pookie and the Gypsies (1947): Pookie is stolen by the wicked Circus Man and becomes the star of the show until he escapes the nasty fate that awaits him.
3. Pookie Puts the World Right (1949): Pookie chases Winter away, but the seasons get in such a muddle that Pookie has to put things right.
. 4. Pookie in Search of a Home (1951): Pookie and his woodland friends avert a dreadful calamity which threatens Bluebell Wood.
5. Pookie Believes in Santa Claus (1953): Pookie sets out to find the truth about Christmas.
6. Pookie at the Seaside (1956): Pookie takes his woodland friends on holiday.
7. Pookie’s Big Day (1958): Pookie wishes for his birthday, Christmas, Easter and Halloween all to come at once, but it's not quite as much fun as he imagined.
8. Pookie and the Swallows (1961): Pookie spends the Summer with the swallows.
9. Pookie in Wonderland (1963): Pookie meets some familiar characters in his dreams.
10. Pookie and his Shop (1966/7): Pookie sets up shop when the goblins leave town. This copy is the revised paperback edition, reissued by Pookie Productions in 1994.
Despite the enormous popularity of these stories, especially in Australia, very little is documented about the author and her work in the various bibliographies of children’s books. Perhaps her work is considered too lightweight or sentimental, yet the reading public are still searching out her books – the Pookie title has appeared twice in the annual bookfinder.com report detailing the top 100 most searched for out-of-print book titles of the previous year and such was the demand for the books that her daughters reprinted the series in 1994 for a new generation. Ivy Wallace died in 2006, aged 90, and her obituary in The Telegraph describes how she started out as an actress, eventually landing a publishing deal and marrying her publisher William Collins.
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References & Further Resources:
Telegraph Obituary, 1 April 2006:
12th Annual BookFinder.com Report: http://www.bookfinder.com/books/bookfinder_report/BookFinder_Report_2014.mhtml