“ Publisher: Express Newspapers „
This is annual number 70 and was published for Christmas 2005.
===Why I Bought This===
I am a great fan of Rupert and am now colelcting copies of the annuals that I have not bought so far.
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Express Newspapers plc (7 Oct 2005)
Illustrations by John Harrold and story colouring by Gina Hart.
Original stories by James Henderson and Ian Robinson. Adapted by Vicky Reed.
Design and colour reproduction by Scrivena.
Printed by Leo Paper, China.
===The Book in Detail===
Hard cover with image of Rupert ice skating and with his friends and the Imps scattered around the background. The image wraps around to the back cover where there are more images of Rupert's friends with snow and ice. Image by John Harrold.
Back cover states 'Express Newpaper' and rrp £7.50.
Issue number 70.
Double endpapers inside cover back and front - image of Rupert in a plane flying over water towards islands - there is also a surreal image of a nest of flying pigs and a carousel being ridden by monkeys. By John Harrold.
Inside is a place for a child to write their name.
The book contains seven stories:
* Rupert and the Speaking Pool - 13 pages.
* Rupert and the Wind Chimes - 18 pages.
* Rupert and the Sum Bean - 13 pages.
* Rupert and the Secret - 12 pages.
* Rupert and the Golden Apples - 15 pages.
* Rupert and the Sparkles - 15 pages.
* Rupert and the Gaffer's Guest - 9 pages.
The book also has:-
* Guess the Story page.
* Spot the Difference page.
* Rupert's Chocolate Patties recipe.
* Colouring Competition page.
* Follow Rupert page.
* Answers page.
===Background to Rupert===
Rupert Bear began as a comic strip character in the Express Newspaper in 1920. The Rupert Annuals began in 1936 and have continued to this day - even being printed during World War 2.
Rupert is a little bear who lives I the fictional village of Nutwood with his parents and chums - who are badgers, dogs, mice and foxes. Rupert and friends all wear clothes and these days Rupert is known for his check trousers and red jumper.
Life in Nutwood is quaint and timeless. Mrs Bear wears a long dress and Mr Bear sports a bow tie. The telephones are the old large black versions and all the toys are old fashioned - such as wooden soldiers, spinning tops, sailing boats etc.
£7.50 at full price. Currently can be picked up second hand on Amazon for £1.35.
===The Annual Itself===
First impressions was that I was not too keen on the cover - having a really good image of Rupert and his friends but it was a little washed out in the background.
This book has seven stories and some puzzles.
Rupert stories come in three levels - the colour pictures enable you to follow the story with a very young child, the rhyming couplets tell a bit more of the story, or you can read the full text in paragraphs at the bottom of the page.
The illustrations are bright and colourful.
It is good to see that the annual has a Christmas story - as often these annuals are Christmas gifts and a story featuring Father Christmas, snowmen, or at least snow, is always welcome.
===Rupert and the Speaking Pool===
Noises are coming from a pool in the woods and the Professor gets Rupert to go down in a diving suit to investigate. Rupert finds his friend Bingo the clever dog n a craft which is being held by a frog as it thinks it is a tadpole. The frog is sorry for the mistake and leaves Bingo go.
===Rupert and the Wind Chimes===
Rupert finds that wind chimes in Nutwood Manor and moving even when the windows are closed - and they find what looks like a ghost but is in fact a baby wind. The nasty Billy Blizzard has captured the winds and Rupert frees them. They get back to Nutwood by sliding down a rainbow.
===Rupert and the Sum Bean===
Spring is late and Rupert is kidnapped my the Imps. They have lost a bean that Rupert found - but it has now been stolen by the mischievous foxes. The bean which is in an abacus enables them to get ll their sums right in school, but Rupert swops them back and returns the bean to the King of the Imps.
===Rupert and the Secret===
Rupert and his friend Billy Goat go to visit the Wise Old Goat. However Billy and the Old Goat and tied up by Warlock as he is after the Secret which is in a locked chest at the bottom of the well. The Warlock lowers Rupert down the well - but as well as finding the chest Rupert sees a locked door. Rupert brings the chest back up and all that is in it is a key. Rupert tricks the Warlock into entering the Old Goats Time Machine and sends him back to 1066.
The Old Goat's ancestors were apparently the first to inhabit Nutwood and had the secret of changing nuts into gold. But they realised how important this secret was so it was hidden behind the door at the bottom of the well. The Old Goat refuses to tell Rupert the secret but he does tell us - the reader.
===Rupert and the Golden Apples===
Rupert has had a cold and goes on a trip with the Professor's brother to the South Seas in search of Golden Apples. The professor's brother has a map so is flying the 'harvicopter' - a cross between a harvester and a helicopter.
They find the tree on an island but it is guarded by a Griffin. Once the Professor's brother realised that the apples won't grow he is happy to leave them for the Griffin to guard.
===Rupert and the Sparkles===
The story revolves around the bonfire that Rupert and his friends are building. Podgy Pig finds some jewels in the woods but the Autumn Elves kidnap Rupert believing he has stolen them. Rupert manages to persuade Podgy to return the jewels and the friends have a great bonfire.
===Rupert and the Gaffer's Guest===
There is a shortage of Christmas trees so the villagers of Nutwood make do with one large tree on the village green. All the villagers take their decorations to put on the tree and the Professor lights the tree on Christmas Eve. Gaffer Jarge is the oldest Nutwood resident and has no electricity. He uses oil lamps and a coal fire but these will not light because of draughts. Rupert discovers the 'draughts' are being made by Raggety, a little twig like creature. Raggety is a sort of troll that normally lives in old tree roots, but these are full of snow so Raggety found shelter in Gaffer's house. He blows out the flames as he, being made of wood, is terrified of fire. Gaffer says Raggety should stay over Christmas, so Rupert speaks to the Professor who asks the villagers if they would forego their Christmas lights so that the generator can be used to heat Gaffer's home. Of course they all agree and donate lamps and an electric fire so that Gaffer and Raggety can be warm. It ends with the villagers singing carols around the tree and Rupert visiting Gaffer with an enormous Christmas pudding.
===What I Thought===
I really liked this annual. As it was illustrated by John Harrold I knew it would be done really nicely. Having seven stories is a good amount of content, although there are a few less puzzle pages and no origami make.
The stories are a good mix with lots of different characters. The last story 'Rupert and the Gaffer's Guest' is a nice Christmas time story which is seasonal and with snow.
The book also contains a nice selection of puzzles - Spot the Difference, Guess the Story and also a Recipe page and a Colouring Competition. So as well as a good amount of stories there are also things to do - making the annual good value.
The pictures for the stories are bright and colourful - though some may be lacking in the detail we have seen in older annuals.
The end papers have quite a surreal sort of scene this time with flying pigs and stone heads - although Ottaline and Rupert are there in a flying plane.
===Its good points===
* with seven stories it also had puzzles and features - so there was plenty of 'play value' in it.
* The puzzles are always nice to see.
===Would I Recommend?===
Rupert's fan club is at - http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/~afm/followers/