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The Cuckoo Clock

3.61  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A Cuckoo fills the life of a lonely girl with excitement and friendship. Two 90-minute cassettes and one 60.
Kindle Edition
Published (first published 1877)
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You can also see my review here.

‘The Cuckoo Clock’ is one of the children’s books I discovered fairly recently, due to a review Kirsty had once written on Goodreads. I didn’t have the opportunity to read it as a child, since it had never been translated into my first language, Greek (at least it hadn’t when I was a kid). However, thanks to a lovely challenge I discovered too late ( the Classic Children’s Literature Event 2015) and also thanks to my beloved library that had a copy of this book, I
Perry Whitford
An equally charming and instructional fantasy story for young girls first published in 1877.

Miss Griselda becomes lonely after being sent to live with her great-aunts in their big house, where she finds friendship and learns a lesson or two about things from the magical cuckoo of an antique clock.

The magic involves being shrunk in size in order to fit inside both the clock and an ornate Chinese cabinet, taking a nighttime flight to the dark side of the moon and - the best part of the story - vi
Apr 27, 2011 Faye rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although perhaps not the most riveting book for a 21 year old to read, it tapped into the adventurous young girl in me who would have given anything to travel into the expansive worlds of my grandmother's eclectic decor. Reading of the strange world of the Mandarin figures, the exciting ascension into the hauntingly beautiful setting of the moon, and the ethereal and industrious world of the butterflies, put me in a sort of light dream state as I read, each scene containing an oneiric sort of qu ...more
I read this because somewhere I heard that this was a childhood favorite of Agatha Christie. Since I like both Christie and Britih children's books of that era, I thought I'd give it a try. The frame story of a little girl taken on adventures by a cuckoo in a clock is chrming. Yhe overall tone of the book is a little too didactic for my taste. (The moral of all the episodes seems to be, "Don't break rules and don't complain, even in your private thoughts.")
Nov 08, 2011 Kim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written back in the day when the sole intent of writing literature for children was to improve their character and persuade them to behave! The cuckoo in this story is surprisingly stern and nagging, but the story is still filled with great imaginative moments - a ball in the land of nodding mandarins, a dress made of live butterflies, and a visit to a desolate landscape on the far side of the moon.

Another highlight of the book is a realistic and flawed heroine. Griselda is prone to ver
I didn't read this edition but a 1930 one with Walter Crane Illustrations (of which I would've liked more).

It was neither as preachy as much Victorian children's literature nor as exciting as the best. There were some obvious didactic efforts and some interesting or pretty scenes, but overall I found in a little dull.

As a child I would have liked best the brief visit to the cuckoo's house. As an adult I found most interesting the penultimate introduction of the little neighbor boy, Phil, and w
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Little Griselda is far from the "patient Grizel" of the fairy tale. The magic cuckoo out of her great-grandma's clock tries to teach her to be a good little Victorian girl: not to ask too many questions, to do her lessons, not to grumble, and above all to obey without question, at once. Fortunately Griselda has too much of what my grandma used to call "original sin" to turn into the simpering little miss that was the ideal of 19th century children's stories. Unfortunately, just about time things ...more
Mary Jane
Mar 22, 2012 Mary Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This reminded me of the old fairy tales I used to read when very young. It was cute and took me back. I'm not quite sure how well it would go over with children today, there's a lot of the standard for the time preachiness about being good and obedient. The adventures with the cuckoo were imaginative.
The Cuckoo Clock is great bedtime reading. Just enough happens to hold your attention but not so much that it prevents you from falling asleep.

I also appreciate how despite its age, this story dosnt feel out of date or old fashioned. The themes of lonlienss, friendship, and growing up are timeless.
Anna Graham
Feb 19, 2012 Anna Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the most under-rated and least known of all the classic children's books -- and it's wonderful. Charming, well-written, imaginative, it takes you back to another era of fantasy. Highly recommended.
Jun 14, 2016 Cheryl marked it as for-the-sony  ·  review of another edition
Want to read because it was a favorite of the girls in The Golden Name Day, one of my favorite childhood books.
Mar 09, 2011 Jeri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
This fantasy book was really, really good. The little girl goes on magical trips with the cuckoo in the cuckoo clock. It kept us in suspense wondering where she would go next and if she would ever find fairyland....

My son asked if we could start it again.
Suffers from many of the faults of Victorian children's books (everyone learning to be good little girls and boys and grow up not to need fairy companions, etc.), but I have such happy memories of being read it as a bedtime story!
Yousra Bushehri
I kinda liked this. I can't pinpoint why, I liked the whole idea of children traveling to different places and getting to experience "fairylands" that adults have lost the ability to see/travel too. It kind of makes the child seem like a super-human or something.
Nov 20, 2007 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember my grandmother reading this book aloud to me as a child. I wanted so badly to go into a cuckoo clock and have adventures! Author also wrote "The Tapestry Room", which has a similar style.
Nov 28, 2012 Merry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first "proper book" I ever read. It enchanted me as a child and 42 years later, I looked for a copy on Amazon and fell for its magic all over again. Delightful.
Nov 11, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a lovely book! Very sweet, fun, and gentle. I'd love to read more by Mrs. Molesworth, because this book was just lovely.
Sep 07, 2014 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2014
Adorable children's book. While it uses a fantasy-like style and great imagination to tell the story, I wouldn't class it in the fantasy genre. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Melanie Gibson
Didactic, but really interesting view of what fiction for children was for at a particular historical moment.
May 14, 2007 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very young when I discovered this book at the library and it's still magical. If you've never read it, treat yourself!
Esther rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2015
Fran rated it really liked it
Mar 09, 2014
Lavanya rated it liked it
May 10, 2016
TheMoreThatYouRead rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2016
Katy Noyes
Katy Noyes rated it liked it
Mar 05, 2013
Karen Whittard
Karen Whittard rated it did not like it
Jun 04, 2014
T rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2015
Rebecca Hanlon
Rebecca Hanlon rated it did not like it
Aug 15, 2016
Rita Maninger
Rita Maninger rated it it was amazing
Feb 02, 2015
charle rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2012
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aka Mary Louisa Molesworth

Mary Louisa Molesworth, née Stewart (29 May 1839 – 20 January 1921) was an English writer of children's stories who wrote for children under the name of Mrs Molesworth. Her first novels, for adult readers, Lover and Husband (1869) to Cicely (1874), appeared under the pseudonym of Ennis Graham. Her name occasionally appears in print as M. L. S. Molesworth.
More about Mrs. Molesworth...

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