Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Marianne Dreams (The Magic Drawing Pencil, #1)” as Want to Read:
Marianne Dreams (The Magic Drawing Pencil, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Marianne Dreams (The Magic Drawing Pencil #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  704 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Ill in bed, Marianne doodles eerie pictures of a house, a boy, and some strange stones. She begins to have strange dreams as she becomes drawn into the world she has created on paper.
Paperback, 179 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Faber & Faber (first published 1958)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
The Horse's Mouth by Joyce CaryA Division of the Spoils by Paul ScottThe Day of the Scorpion by Paul ScottThe Best of Saki by SakiThe Towers of Silence by Paul Scott
REALLY Underrated Books (Fewer than 1,000 Ratings)
461st out of 3,034 books — 1,238 voters
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggThe Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton84, Charing Cross Road by Helene HanffThe Mirror Crack'd by Agatha ChristieThe Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
33rd out of 109 books — 13 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,610)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
May 06, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Storr's 1958 novel Marianne Dreams is one of those classic children's stories that passed me by, but luckily I spotted a Puffin copy from the 1970s, I picked it up, I thought it looked lovely, and so I brought it home.

It was lovely, it was spooky, and it was the kind of book that brought out the child who loved books inside me.

Marianne is confined to bed with an illness that will keep her their for several months. Bored, she starts to draw to pass the time, using an old pencil she foun
Jan 27, 2010 Kinga rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Helen
Shelves: ghosts
A Children's book was exactly what the doctor ordered for this gloomy never ending winter. This book is a fabulous old-school kind of children's book with its old-fashioned vocabulary that makes it all more enojayble. It takes you back to the time when life was fresh and exciting. Now when we are old, the novelty of life has worn off, we have to go to work, buy groceries and pay the rent and we have to be reminded sometimes how exciting life really is.
Children's books do it for me.
This one real
Philip Jackson
Dec 06, 2011 Philip Jackson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never come across this children's novel at all until a friend recently recommended it to me. I can imagine that whoever has read this as a child would have been haunted by it. Marianne is a young girl who is bedridden as a result of an unspecified illness. Discovering a pencil which had belonged to her grandmother, Marianne draws a house set within a fence. That night in her dreams, she visits the house, but can't gain entry as she hasn't drawn anyone inside who is able to let her in. Awake ...more
Sep 24, 2010 Mariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Charlotte Sometimes, lovers of dark kids fantasies
Recommended to Mariel by: me because I'm cool like that
I think anyone who dreams or imagines a lot about things they hear about, or just likes to make stuff up, would like Marianne Dreams a lot. Marianne is bedridden and only has her thoughts and drawing materials to keep her sane. That's a pretty thin grip on things, so dependent on moods. It only takes a creepy looking tree outside to throw a new light on impending future. (Some of us like to work ourselves up, too.)

Marianne's tutor tells her about another boy in the town, and Marianne includes hi
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
I read this when I was a kid. It is a MUST read if you like dark fantasy. The book was made into a movie and surprise, surprise... the movie
was excellent!
Long ago I came across the movie Paperhouse. It's a haunting tale of a sick little girl who draws an alternate world that she visits in dreams. There she encounters a little boy who also happens to be ill in real life. It's spooky and magical and much more enjoyable than this book.

I recently discovered that the movie was based on this book, so of course I wanted to read it. The book is described as a children's classic. It's definitely for children but the writing isn't as inventive and emotiona
Sep 02, 2012 yengyeng rated it it was amazing
When I read this as an 11-year old, I didn't quite fully grasp how incurable illnesses and death exist in a desperate murky no-man's-land dreamworld. Now I do. Both Marianne and myself got perspective, learnt about the floor-dropping sensation of cause-and-effect and consequences and grew up a little. It's a lovely little book about friendship, sharing and being responsible. I really like the ending because it's so positive.
Nov 26, 2015 Flora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit
I remember being profoundly unsettled by this book when I read it as a child, and reading it as an adult I can still access some of that unease: the eerie emptiness of the dream plain with wind rustling through the grass, the white house with blank windows, THEM.

Storr manages to capture what it is to dream, without falling into the trap of being too outlandish or fantastical or scary: the feeling of unreality; of just KNOWING that you need to do something (and being unable to do it); and of thi
Hilary Woolf
Apr 10, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Marianne is convalescing after an illness when she finds a pencil that she draws a house with. Later when she dreams she visits this house and discovers that what she draws with the pencil in her waking life will appear in her dreams.

The watching stones are a fun, scary addition to the story and we enjoyed the coming together of the two childrens lives and their escape. The illustrations are good too.
Oct 12, 2009 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, children
I loved this book when i was growing up. The idea that anything you drew could take on a life of its own in your dreams had me wishing so abadly that I could do the same! The film made of this - 'Paperhouse' was really well done and really brought across the dark side to it all. That i can have such a lingering memory of it after all these years is testament to its content.
Apr 04, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it
Now I understand why this book produced such a lasting memory for me when I read it age about 10 .... there is no way my 9 year old will be reading it any time soon!! Scary stuff.
Aug 16, 2008 CLM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An unusual book about a girl who is bedridden and starts drawing out of boredom - and the things she draws begin to exist and draw her into their world while she is sleeping.
Aug 14, 2013 Methodtomadness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Catherine Storr's Marianne Dreams is another one of those books I didn't know about as a kid, but would have liked it if I had. Published in 1958, it's definitely got its dated moments (and a heavy helping of such Britishisms as "bother," "jolly," "blasted," etc.), but it's so darn weird , it can feel timeless at other moments.The premise is that a young girl bedridden by an unnamed malady discovers that an old pencil lets her create and alter another world she can visit in dreams, and whose on ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Teycordero rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book from the library back in my elementary days. If I am not mistaken I was in 4th grade. I gave the book to my mom because believe me my mom is a big time book worm she reads a LOT. She has this huge cabinet full of books, novels. She read it and told me that I should read it some time because its a good story. I refused to because I thought I was too young to read a whole entire book. After seven years I was in 4th year highschool our English teacher assigned me and 3 of my group m ...more
Joy Manne
Sep 09, 2013 Joy Manne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Joy by: I found it in the Faber Children's Treasury
First, about the author, Catherine Storr, a doctor who worked in a hospital Department of Psychological Medicine and who was married to Anthony Storr, the psychiatrist who also was a Jungian analyst. Storr is an author is able to use the wealth of her own inner life to take us into our own deep Inner Space.

The book starts abruptly. Marianne, on her birthday, has her first horse-riding lesson and immediately falls ill with a mysterious illness and has to stay in bed. Animals are symbols for insti
Jun 20, 2013 F rated it really liked it
'Marianne Dreams' is a haunting but captivating story about a young girl who is diagnosed with an illness confining her to bed. I read this book when I was about 11 years old on a plane to France , it made the time pass quickly. Up until recently , I have never been truly sure whether I enjoyed this book , however it is a story that always remained in my heart and left an impact. Recently , my sister for her drama monologue needed to choose a character in a book and create a monologue based arou ...more
Donna Lawson
Dec 02, 2015 Donna Lawson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book. It is beautifully written and its old style of writing reminded me of books I read as a child. I was instantly hooked and drawn into Marianne's world. The relationship between Marianne and Mark was particularly interesting as their sympathy and understanding of each other and the situation they were facing developed slowly yet increasing eerily throughout. The book made me feel quite uncomfortable at times and definitely left me with many questions but will certainl ...more
Wendy Chard
Oct 05, 2011 Wendy Chard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that I read several times as a child. It takes it's inspiration from the stones at Avebury in Wiltshire (or so my mum and wikipedia both claim!) - and I suppose that's why we had it on our bookshelf, growing up. It's one of those fantastically dark children's stories, with a general air of spookiness that stays with you well into adolescence and beyond. Marianne is a frustrated, bed-ridden child with nothing to do other than to consult with her imagination. The result ...more
Beth Rimell
Absolutely loved this book, it begins light but becomes thrilling and quite scary! A great story with a fine line between reality and fantasy, following a young girl and boy fighting their own illnesses and becoming companions along the way.
Sep 25, 2011 ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book when I was ten and have been reading it on and off since. This book is about a girl called Marianne that falls ill on her birthday. Due to spending alot of time in bed due to her illness she dreams alot. This book captures all the dreams that we expeirence during a fever and puts them into words.

This is a very good read and I would recommend this as a classic must read for a child between the ages of 10-13. This is a great "first novel" for children as it is an easy read bu
Apr 11, 2010 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Melody by: CLM
Where was this book when I was 9 or 10? Man, I would have adored it and read it over and over and over. Marianne is bedridden with what sound like mononucleosis to the modern ear, and she finds herself whiling away the long hours drawing with a magic pencil and visiting her drawings in her dreams. There's a boy with polio involved, and several missteps and a nearly perfect ending. This one was delicious. Thanks, Constance!
Dominique White
Aug 09, 2015 Dominique White rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to me recently by a friend who credits this book with inspiring him when he was younger, I must admit I am disappointed I did not read it myself as a child. The creepiness, the fear, the sheer purpose of this novel would have grabbed me instantly. As a discerning 10 year old reader who disliked Pollyanna without being able to explain why at the time, Marianne would have been a much more suitable invalid child character to read about. Her moodiness, stubbornness, boredom and imaginati ...more
Feb 14, 2011 Ratesjul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
It's been years since I last read Marianne Dreams, with her struggles to draw helicopters and fits of impatience and an oversupply of boiled eggs. I found it recently on my bookshelf (when I was looking for something else), and yet again, it's pulled me in and given me something to think about. I'll probably locate the sequel/s soon.
I still have the puffin edition of this book that I read 100 years ago. The way the line between dreams and reality is blurred fascinated and haunted me. I love this book. I should reread it. I'd like to revisit all the seminal books of my young reading life, and see what my impressions are now.
Mar 16, 2008 Jo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words cannot express how much I love this book.
Jul 18, 2008 Lou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
still creepy when read as an adult. classic.
Dec 22, 2013 Cassandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-ya
I love the premise; Marianne has just turned ten, and sick in bed she finds a pencil, and what she draws with the pencil she then dreams, but things are not always precisely as she intends them to be, and the dreams connect with the waking world in odd ways. It is a very eerie idea, and Storr uses it sometimes to good effect, but the book is not great, and it could have been, which frustrates me. It is a realistic novel with a fantastic element, and I think the realism to some extent undercuts t ...more
Apr 14, 2016 Yuè rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From my review tag on tumblr:

Here I was, at Waterstones Amsterdam. I was going through the Harry Potter section (as usual) when this cover caught my eye. It was beautiful. I quickly read the back of the book and fell in love.
A children’s book, though. No sex and drugs and love and creepy ass shit.



Okay, maybe most of you won’t find it that scary (EDIT: I just went through the very tiny “marianne dreams” tag and apparently I’m not the only one), but
Hmm Children's classics are the bees knees. Nearing my becoming an adult, I keep coming back for more books which are for younger audiences.Young adult books try too hard, and adult books are just so frigid. So here we are again. I'm tickled by this book.Clever plot and lovely characters. Simple.

My only query was of course the implied good ending...the problem being its not all written out word for word for me. I have to say to my self 'he probably would have done..." *sigh* I mostly dislike end
John Dawson
Nov 04, 2015 John Dawson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first came across this book as a child on the radio - talk about spooky! I read it soon after and it really got to me. Re-read it recently (50 years later) and still found it surprisingly powerful, if rather dated now. One of a quite small number of books that have always stayed with me. Recommended for all ages.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 53 54 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Return of the Twelves
  • Charlotte Sometimes
  • Bilgewater
  • Nobody's Family Is Going to Change
  • The Wool-Pack
  • The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley, Who Planned to Live an Unusual Life
  • Foxspell
  • The Ghost Drum (Ghost World, #1)
  • The Peppermint Pig
  • The Edge of the Cloud (Flambards, #2)
  • Mistress Masham's Repose
  • The Exiles at Home (The Exiles, #2)
  • Elidor
  • Some of the Kinder Planets: Stories
  • Crisis on Conshelf Ten (Crisis on Conshelf Ten, #1)
  • Metropolis
  • Hey, Dollface
  • The Otterbury Incident
Author Catherine Storr was educated at St. Paul's Girls' School and went on to study English at Newnham College, Cambridge. She then went to medical school and worked part-time as a Senior Medical Officer in the Department of Psychological Medicine of the Middlesex Hospital from 1950 to 1963.

Her first book was published in 1940, but was not successful. It was not until the 1950s that her books be
More about Catherine Storr...

Other Books in the Series

The Magic Drawing Pencil (2 books)
  • Marianne and Mark (The Magic Drawing Pencil, #2)

Share This Book