I did not read No Flying in the House when I was six. If I had read it when I was six, I would have loved it. Why? Because what what six year old girl doesn’t want a three inch talking dog who can perform 367 tricks? And what six year old girl does not want to be part fairy, flying around the house, stealing cookies from the top shelf? No six year old girl I’ve ever met anyway.
What's it about?
Annabel Tippens doesn’t have parents. Instead she is watched over by a three inch tall talking dog called Gloria. Gloria’s diminutive size, and her ability to perform tricks, endears her to the slightly stuffy Mrs Vancourt, who takes them in. Annabel never questions her somewhat unconventional life until a miniature cat appears and tells her that she’s part fairy. So Annabel sets out trying to figure out who she is…
What was good?
1. Betty Brock has a warm tone, and the book is very easy to read. It's perfect for kids around 6-8.
2. The characters are interesting and inspiring – Annabel with her determination and ability to keep a secret, Gloria with her extensive knowledge and dogged (ha ha) loyalty to Annabel.
3. Both Annabel and Gloria make sacrifices for their family which gives a nice message about what’s important – but it never feels like this is being pushed too strongly/rammed down your throat.
4. It has just the right level of mystery to keep you reading and just the right level of menace from the cat – not enough to be scary, but enough to provide a little conflict.
5. Wallace Tripp’s illustrations are just beautiful!
What wasn't so good?
The only very minor niggle I had was that the ending is entirely contrived, with everything being tied up with a giant bow. But where it might grate slightly for adult readers, kids will probably love it. I know I would have done at age six.
I dearly wish I had discovered this when I was younger, because it is a fun, sweet and engaging story, full of magic and mystery. If you happen to be six/have a six year old, be prepared to read it over and over.
If you’re old enough to reach the cookies that you still keep on the top shelf without flying, it’s a lovely quick read which will while away a pleasant hour or so. Maybe with one or two of said cookies.
Details and Availability
- Title: No Flying in the House
- Author: Betty Brock
- Illustrator: Wallace Tripp
- Date: 1970 (this edition 2005)
No Flying In The House is happily back in print and is widely available. But if like me, you prefer to buy secondhand and would like to support the blog, follow the link to Biblio.com below. I get a teeny weeny commission. Thanks.