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Marianne Dreams (The Magic Drawing Pencil, #1)
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Marianne Dreams (The Magic Drawing Pencil #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  931 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
Ill and bored with having to stay in bed, Marianne picks up a pencil and starts doodling - a house, a garden, a boy at the window. That night she has an extraordinary dream. She is transported into her own picture, and as she explores further she soon realises she is not alone. The boy at the window is called Mark, and his every movement is guarded by the menacing stone wa ...more
Paperback, 179 pages
Published 2000 by Faber and Faber (first published 1958)
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Judith Rich Possibly rheumatic fever? My mother had this as a teenager and was confined to bed with it. NHS website says it typically develops after a sore…morePossibly rheumatic fever? My mother had this as a teenager and was confined to bed with it. NHS website says it typically develops after a sore throat, which seems to be how Marianne' s illness starts.(less)

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Joanne Harris
The latest in my season of re-readings of classic children's books. It's been a long time since I first read this one, but it still packs a punch: it's well-written, dark and in places, genuinely chilling - those whispering stones always freaked me out as a child, and they still do. The characters are marvellous; well-drawn and quite without sentimentality: I especially love the fact that illness makes them both so cranky and unpleasant - it reads as a deliberate challenge to the "saintly invali ...more
Jane
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Great children's classic, with vivid and memorable characters, a dark yet beautiful dream world and the power of imagination. I can remember how much I loved it as a kid, and I recall watching a pretty good film adaptation of it called Paperhouse, as well.
Manybooks
When Marianne is confined to her bed for many weeks due to illness (the exact nature of her malady is never clearly stated, but I have always wondered whether it might be rheumatic fever), she passes her time drawing pictures (but with a special and as it turns out rather magical drawing pencil she has found, and which drawings start to increasingly take over both her dreams and her reality, her life as it is). The house that Marianne imagines (dreams about) and draws with her special drawing pe ...more
Kinga
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Helen
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
...more
Mariel
Nov 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Philip Jackson
Dec 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
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!
yengyeng
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melody
Mar 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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!
Kimberly
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
...more
Kay
Oct 12, 2009 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.
Hilary
Mar 05, 2016 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.
CLM
Sep 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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.
Eli Connors
Charming and whimsical yet deeply profound. It reminded me of a more kid-friendly version of Mandy and Alecto or Yesterday's Doll.
Liz
Apr 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melissa
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I liked this book, but think it's the kind of children's book that is really much better to read as a child :) I liked that the kids seemed like actual children in their conversation, actions, and thoughts. The story was less fantastical than I was expecting. A good book that I think my children will enjoy.
Paul Beech
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This wonderfully dark and sinister story is let down only by its rather prim and proper tone - in terms of imaginative power, however, it is haunting.
Methodtomadness
Aug 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Teycordero
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
F
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'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
Wendy Chard
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Donna Lawson
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
ellie
Sep 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ratesjul
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Bettie☯
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Lou
Jul 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
still creepy when read as an adult. classic.
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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
More about Catherine Storr...

Other Books in the Series

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