“ Author: Ian Robinson / Publisher: Pedigree Books „
===This book is listed as being the 1998 Annual but actually it was printed in 1998 but would have been the 1999 Annual===
Number 63 and published in 1998 but called the 1999 Annual.
Cover artwork and illustrations by John Harrold.
Stories by Ian Robinson.
Story colouring by Gina Hart.
Hard cover: 112 pages
Publisher: Pedigree Books; First Edition edition (1 Sep 1998)
===The Book in Detail===
The book contains six stories:
* Rupert and the Missing Cakes - 16 pages.
* Rupert and the Goose Chase - 20 pages.
* Rupert and the Raft - 15 pages.
* Rupert and the Sundial -17 pages.
* Rupert and the Pumpkin Pie - 13 pages.
* Rupert and Uncle Polar - 16 pages.
The book also has:-
Rupert's Fun Pages which include:
* Rupert Recipe for Butterfly Cakes.
* Page of Rupert's Spot the Difference.
* Page of Odd Man Out puzzle.
* Rupert's Crossword Puzzle page.
* Rupert's Colouring Page.
* Rupert's Memory Game - which story did each image come from.
* Page of answers.
Original price was £6.99.
Currently £1.87 second hand on Amazon.
===The Annual Itself===
The cover has a nice image of Rupert with some geese and carrying cake. There are unicorns and 'cake' houses in the background. As will all Rupert Annuals the image continues on the back cover of the book which shows more of Rupert's chums and frogs. Also shown is Rupert's cousin Joan.
The endpapers inside both the back and front covers are two page spreads and done by John Harrold. They show a ploughed field and the scarecrow with Rupert and friends bringing him a Birthday gift and cake.
===Rupert and the Missing Cakes===
This story includes Rupert's cousin Joan who has come to stay. Rupert goes to buy flour for his mother to make butterfly cakes, but there must have been a mix up at the mill and there are no labels n the packets of flour in the shop.
They make the cakes and then go to fetch Joan and her mother from the station, only to see their butterfly cakes flying away. Rupert and Joan give chase, but go so far then are lost in the woods.
Suddenly they see smoke and find a little house that looks like a loaf of bread. Rupert enquires about his lost cakes and is pointed in the direction of Cakeville, where he will find all manner of cakes.
Along the way they ass a muffin man. The little town has shops and houses shaped like cakes and many windmills to mill the flour. Rupert and Joan get taken in by a baker who thinks they are new helpers and they get set to make bread. Later Rupert explains that are not really there to work and tells of the problem with his flying cakes. The baker realises there has been a mix up at the mill - they must have used more of the 'special' flour than they should have - only a little is needed to make the cakes rise - but not to fly.
To compensate Rupert is given some delicious cakes to take home and they ride back in the delivery van who calls at Nutwood. They are back in time for tea so they can all enjoy the cakes.
===Rupert and the Goose Chase===
A little bird gives Rupert a message form Oddmedod - the scarecrow - so Rupert visits hi in the field. He had heard that people are after a goose that lays golden eggs. Sir Humphrey Pumphrey wants it for his zoo of weird animals. The other geese try to protect the goose but he is about to be stolen way when the Sage of Um arrives in his magic 'Brella' and they all fly off. Rupert and the goose are taken to Um Island - but Sir Humphrey gives chase with his amphibious car - eventually getting to the Island himself. He would like to capture a unicorn, one of many who live there, but they drive him off. To keep the goose safe they fly off with him to the bird kings castle in the sky.
The Sage then takes Rupert home in his 'Brella' - an unturned umbrella.
===Rupert and the Raft===
Rupert and Algy go out on the Common with a tent - they also have a small boat moored by the lake. The pair row off and then spot Bingo the dog trying to make a large raft. Bingo said he had made a raft before but it had broken free and vanished overnight. Rupert and Algy then find a decent camp site by the side of the lake and pitched their tent and made a camp fire and cooked food - eggs and bacon. They were woken by a noise - loads of frogs everywhere. A frog said that the King Frog wanted to see Rupert and leads him to the frog's lair hidden behind the willows, getting there by walking over water lilies. The river is very low and the frogs are worried. Rupert and Algy say they will help and follow the river until they find the blockage - it turns out to be the first raft that Bingo had made which had broken free. Once removed the water flows freely and the pair then sail back on the raft.
===Rupert and the Sundial===
It has been a long hot summer with no rain for ages.
Rupert goes to play on the Common and finds his pal Podgy guzzling oranges that he said he had picked himself - but Rupert wondered where? Rupert tells his Dad who says it is too cold in Nutwood to grow oranges, unless in a glasshouse - such as a large one that may be at Nutwood Manor. Rupert goes to look but that glasshouse is all broken down with smashed windows and no fruit growing there. Rupert leaves his bedroom window open when he goes to bed as it is so hot and he is visited by an Elf. The Elf is concerned because there has been no rain and he wants Rupert to speak to the Clerk of the Weather.
Rupert therefore writes a message on a balloon, blows it up and leaves it float away. The message arrives and the Weather Clerk comes, but he says he has sent rain clouds to Nutwood. Very strange.
Then Rupert sees Podgy going off in the direction of the Professor's Tower. Bodkin, the Professor's servant, is found to have a luscious garden full of oranges and lemons. He has been able to grow them iN the heat because the Professor has a machine that is keeping the rain clouds away from his Tower. However this also means they cannot rain on Nutwood Village either. The Professor had not realised that would happen so he happily turns off his machine. A great solution is found for Bodkin's fruit as they restore the old large glasshouse at Nutwood Manor where the tropical fruit can be grown.
===Rupert and the Pumpkin Pie===
Rupert and his pals receive invites to Ottaline's Halloween Party. Rupert decides to make a pumpkin lantern and goes off to the shops with his Dad. Bill Badger is also there with the ame idea so Rupert goes back to Bill's house so that they can make their lanterns together - while Mrs Badger says she will make some Pumpkin Pie.
Mrs Bear makes Rupert a costume for the party - a wizard. Bill is dressed as Dracula. Off they go in the dark carrying their lanterns and food. In the woods they see two 'highwaymen' (the fox brothers) - who demand 'Trick or Treat' but steal the food the friends are carrying - and then squirts them all with water until they are soaked and their costumes ruined. When Rupert gets to the party he sees that the naughty foxes have been stealing food from everyone and that they are all wet too. Rupert says they will play a trick back on the foxes. Rupert takes a sheet and they all go back out into the woods. Rupert pretends he is going to the party dressed as a ghost and the two foxes set about robbing him. However Rupert shows who he is and then all his pals come out from hiding and throw water bombs at the two foxes - who then fall into a muddy puddle. The foxes then give back all the food they have taken which was hidden in a tree trunk and Rupert says they are all even now and so the foxes join them by going back to the party all together.
===Rupert and Uncle Polar===
Rupert's uncle, a polar bear, has come to stay for his holidays. Rupert's Dad says it is lucky it is cold as Polar is so used to Arctic conditions. They walk to the station to meet Uncle Polar and although the family find it cold and snowy Polar finds it warm and so he changes into his warm weather clothes - a patterned shirt and shorts and he sits in a deckchair while Rupert builds a snowman.
Polar and Rupert then go sledging on the Common. They follow footprints and find Willie Mouse. They have fun sledging but then play Hide and Seek. Uncle Polar hides but they cannot find him. So Rupert follows his footprints - until they disappear. A little bird tells Rupert that Uncle Polar had slipped and fallen - and slid down a bank and crashed into some sort of cave. Rupert slides in too and ends up in a series of tunnels. Rupert hears music and follows the sound. He finds a frozen lake where the Autumn Elves are holding their Ice Fayre to celebrate New Year. Uncle Polar is there enjoying himself and after Rupert tires a game of skittles they decide it is time to go back. They are let up some steps and out of a secret door in a tree trunk which takes them back to the Common. Rupert sees his friends - 'wherever did you get to?' they ask. 'Its a long story' says Rupert.
===What I Thought===
This is a very good classic Rupert Annual.
It has six great stories. I love the one about all the missing cakes and the little houses made to look like cakes and bread - all very colour, quaint and magical.
Rupert and the Goose Chase, Rupert and the Raft and the Sundial stories are all summer stories but very colourful and full of adventure.
The story about the Pumpkin Pie is a good Halloween tale and quite unusual for a Rupert Annual.
The one involving Uncle Polar is more winter themed but does not have Father Christmas in it.
As with all good Rupert Annuals there are plenty of puzzle pages and it is nice to see a simple recipe to go along with the missing cakes story.
It is nice to see Rupert's little cousin Jan making an appearance and also to see that Nutwood Station is mentioned in two stories and is supposedly within walking distance of Rupert's home
The colourful images in the book are great for any age child to enjoy - even if they just look at the pictures while being read the stories.
Rupert stories come on three levels - you can follow just the pictures, you can read the rhyming couplets under the pictures or you can read the longer paragraphs at the bottom of the page.
Another great collector's item and done to a much higher standard than the ones currently on sale which have less stories and cruder drawings.
===Would I Recommend?===