“ Hardcover: 72 pages / Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd / Published: 3 Aug 2009 „
This is annual number 74 and was published for Christmas 2009.
Hardcover: 72 pages
Publisher: Egmont Books Ltd (3 Aug 2009)
Illustrations and stories by Stuart Trotter
Tex and couplets by Cathy Jones
Activities by Jenny BaK
Designed by Marting Aggett
Annual number 74
Printed in Italy.
===The Book in Detail===
The cover of this annual has a peelable sticker on the front which states 'With All New Stories'.
The image on the cover is of Rupert in a flying fish machine with some of his friends on the ground, the image as always wraps around to include the back cover which has a liitle girl collecting blackberries and a hot air balloon in the shape of a fish. It also states 'Express Newspapers', gives the price as £7.99 and states the book is for ages 5+.
The double endpapers on the back and front of the book show an image of Rupert and his friends overlooking a bare valley with mountains, and in the centre is an image of a flying fish balloon.
The book has a contents page and a place to write the child's name. On the opposite page is a price triangle.
The book contains just four stories:
* Rupert and the Dam - 11 pages.
* Rupert and the Golden Carp - 16 pages.
* Rupert and the Lost Sheep - 14 pages.
* Rupert and the Cut - 10 pages.
The book also has:-
* Page with a map of Nutwood.
* Secret Decoder page.
* Rupert Colouring page.
* Golden Carp Kite Origami.
* Spot the Difference page.
* Rupert's Word Search.
* The Lost Sheep Maze.
* Rupert's Memory Test.
£7.99 at full price. Currently can be picked up second hand on Amazon for £2.71.
===The Annual Itself===
To begin with the cover - Rupert does not appear too bad but he is sitting behind an ugly man controlling a fish aeroplane. Apart from some of Rupert's friends the background lacks any detail.
One of the first things you encounter in this book even before the stories is the Map of Nutwood - what a joke! The text underneath states that Nutwood has been the home of Rupert and his chums for over 90 years and that he was created way back in 1920 by Mary Tourtel. This is such an opportunity missed, as instead of showing all the places we know so well from the stories, this is just a very basic sketch which does not show where anything is. It does not label where Nutwood is or even show Rupert's house - what were they thinking of?
There is a wordsearch and a colouring page. The origami is good to see included but the Spot the Difference page is not up to old standard that we expect and the image lacks lots of detail and depth.
The Lost Sheep Maze is actually quite a good one as it almost fills a page. The other puzzle pages are adequate and at the end of the book is a full page advert for various other Rupert books.
The endpapers have always been an integral part of any Rupert Annual but these are very two dimentional and lack depth and detail, it looks rushed and half finished.
Now to turn to the stories, this time there are four tories, but all quite short and not one has any seasonal or Christmas element included, such a shame as these books are often bought as Christmas gifts.
===Rupert and the Dam===
Rupert's village is being flooded. Rupert sees a little fish which flicked a stick at Rupert, which turns out to be a magic wand. Rupert's friend Sailor Sam takes his strange amphibious car into the flood water. The car has a glass roof and they see beavers and a dam. They dive down to the base of the dam and go to see the beaver king. He is amazed and says the magic wand is his. It seems the magic wand helps trees to grow really quickly after the beavers have gnawed then down. The beavers repair the dam and so stop the flooding.
(This story is weird as the beavers are huge but there is no explanation why. At the beginning of the story they are sort of normal size.)
===Rupert and the Golden Carp===
Rupert and his pals are flying kites on a windy day, but the wind is strong and Rupert's kite flies away. Rupert chases it and follows it into the woods. They then see a large orange thing above the trees, its a huge hot air balloon with a basket underneath. The Conjurer is there with a friend and helps Rupert find his kite, but it is a bit of a state. The Conjurer says that Rupert and Tigerlily can go to a Kite Festival. Rupert is given a bag with a magic kite inside but which he must not open until they arrive. They travel in a large airship and are set down on a mountain. Two ruffians jump out at them and try and steal the bag with the magic kite. Out comes a huge golden carp which attacks the ruffians and picks up Rupert, Tigerlily and Edward Trunk and flies with them to safety. At the kite festival the golden carp kite spots the ruffians and they are arrested.
===Rupert and the Lost Sheep===
Rupert is off to visit his Uncle Clive who keeps sheep and who lives a long way away. Algy Pug goes along with Rupert and they travel on an old fashioned bus. En-route they see a strange flying machine in the distance. Some of his uncle's sheep has gone missing and Rupert and Algy offer to help so the next morning they all go up the mountains with Ben the sheepdog. They find the sheep but some are missing. Uncle Clive falls and Algy goes for help. A sheep stealer ties Rupert up, but the dog chews through the ropes and they rescue the sheep. The man chases Rupert but a large eagle scares him. The strange craft seen in the sky was the Professor's helicopter which rescues Rupert's uncle. Rupert's red jumper is torn but Mrs Bear has knitted him a new one from his uncle's wool.
===Rupert and the Cut===
Mrs Bear is picking apples for a tart but wants some blackberries too. Rupert and Bill go out to search but cannot find any and are told a little girl has been picking them. They meet Bargee Bill who offers to take them to Blackberry Hill. they also find the little girl who is crying and lost, and the bargee says he will take her home - the naughty fox had sent her the wrong way. They go through a tunnel on the barge and find that the little girl lives at a bakery - and they arrive in time for tea. Rupert is given a fresh tart to take home - but he and Bill have a long walk back. On their way they find the naughty fox brothers - lying down in pain from eating so many blackberries. Mrs Bear is delighted with the fresh tart and Rupert is happy to be 'home at last!'.
A quick round up:
===Firstly I will list its good points===
* Nice Maze
* Good Size Wordsearch
* All new stories
===Some of the bad things about the book===
* Uninspiring cover.
* Endpaper illustrations very basic and with no detail or depth.
* Map of Nutwood totally useless - not even showing Rupert's home.
* No seasonal story
* Poor illustrations on some pages.
3 stars - lacks great illustration, no seasonal story and a map that is useless.
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