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My favourite childhood story – The Magic Paintbrush

Category : General · by Apr 18th, 2006

I was pathetically pleased over the weekend to come across an absolute favourite story book of mine from when I was a child.

I was visiting my parents for Easter and have occasionally had a look for this particular set of story books but never found them. Anyway, my sister somehow knew where they were so (under the eves, accessed through a tiny door down the side of my brother’s bed) and dug them out for me.

There was two in particular that I loved – The Magic Paintbrush, and The Magic Stone, for reasons I hope become apparent. I loved the illustrations as well – done by Martin Aitchison. Mr Aitchison has his own website where he also sells original illustrations. I note there is a Magic Painbrush one there for £300.

I am also pleased to note that you can buy them secondhand and online – cost between £1.50 and £3.

The books are copyright Ladybird and were adapted by Fran Hunia from traditional children’s tales from across the world. Since it was about 20 years ago that I read them, I am going to do a terrible thing and scan the pages and put them here for everyone to enjoy.

If Ladybird is unhappy with this, please email me and I’ll happily pay a reasonable fee each time this page is accessed. Anyway, here is the first half of the The Magic Paintbrush.

Part II of the adventure can be found here. And third and final part is here.


(21) comments

Mike Regan
14 years ago ·

Hey, thanks so much for putting up the pics of the book on your page. The magic paintbrush was my favourite book as a kid and it’s fantastic to see it again and get the same feelings from the incredibly emotive artwork as I did when I was young, so much so I was getting shivers remembering how much it fascinated me. Thanks again, M.Regan 27

[…] first part came be found here. And the third and final part is here. I will stick up the next few days. […]

12 years ago ·

My brother and I use to borrow this book from the school library about 20 years ago. Recently this book came up in conversation and we have been searching for it ever since! I never realised it was similar to the Three Little Pigs in the respect of having so many different versions, written by so many different authors, published by so many different companies. I have finally found the version that was so strongly saved in my memory – the pictures more than anything! I have bought many copies online that were not right. So now I can buy the right one – for both of us! So I too, was also pathetically pleased to find this book. . . . thank you!

Kirsty Russell
12 years ago ·

Thank you so much for doing this. I came across Julia Donalson’s book the Magic Paintbrush and triggered my childhood memories of my own. Wil definitely be looking for this for my own kids.
Thanks again.

Mike NYC
12 years ago ·

My abs fav book whilst growing up in England. Takes me back to my very bedroom in Willesden, London

12 years ago ·

Thanks for this, I just read this to my 7 year old before bed. This was my favorite as a child too. The book that I have has the same story but told by someone else. The version I have is very descriptive, the one you have is very to the point. What I like the best is the artwork. Thanks for the link to Mr. Aitchison!
Peace, Matt G

11 years ago ·

Thank you so much f’or this! Brings back so many memories!

My favourite book, I had the same copy. :) I actually got testy looking at this! Thank you.

11 years ago ·

Thank you so much f’or this! Brings back so many memories!

My favourite book, I had the same copy. :) I actually got teary looking at this! Thank you.

Melbourne Australia. 29

11 years ago ·

Thanks very much,
I know this an old posting, but I still wanted to say it. I’m discussing this story with Chinese primary school pupils (in English) and it really helps to have the English version of the story!
Have a nice week.

Zach Wong
10 years ago ·

Thank you for posting these images! It was a wonderful trip down memory lane for me to see them again. I had a flash of memory of the first image he painted – the stork, and remembered why I love art so much myself.

10 years ago ·

My school is doing a play on the book!

Lucas Clements
10 years ago ·

Dear Book Reading Society,
I felt that these books were really popular when I was young basically. I don’t believe there popularity will diminish. I really enjoyed reading lots of books when I was young.
I have the memories and hopefully they won’t depart from me.

Lucas Clements.

9 years ago ·

Yay! I am so glad I found it. Thank you so much! I have been telling this story to my daughter, I faintly remembered it. Now she can read it herself.

9 years ago ·

Wow!!!! I remember this book! I loved the lady bird series; The Magic Stone and the Little Porridge Pot amongst others were my favourites.

Oh the memories!! Thanks for sharing!

7 years ago ·

Hello. I stumbled across your blog today while google-ing the story of the magic paintbrush. I remembered reading it as a child, probably around 1987 or 1988. It was my favorite story and I vividly remembered the illustrations. I sat in front of the PC with my kids today, telling them how I would love to see those illustrations again and read the story and started a search! I came across your blog and was so happy, it actually made me cry!! To read my beloved childhood book once again after so long! THANK YOU for posting the story. I read it to my kids too. xxxx

7 years ago ·

This Magic paintbrush book was an original book I read about 30+ years ago around about age 9, I kept re-reading the book over to where I started to unintentionally get to read it really>really>fast & faster> due to such familiarity of go over & over the text again -later in life I became a poor reader from never reading since then, though now I efficiently read vertically to reasonably lengthy text lines, for as of today, I’m a daily practitioner for more efficiency as to aim for some real>true>reading>speeds> Therefore this book represents a real iconic beauty to my own memorial reflection in re-reading it again -So all I can say is thanks for sharing this upload Kieren McCarthy

6 years ago ·

I decided to look for this book, because it is the only book i remember vividly in reception class (just over thirty years), i used to hide the book, in the library shelf,it is thoroughly nostalgic and heartening to see the pages again.

Thanks for the posts.

6 years ago ·

Thank you so much for the scan of this lovely book! My childhood relieved! Tqvm

1 year ago ·

So delighted to see these pages. This was my favourite book as a child too. Thank you. Clare

10 months ago ·

Ah thanks so much for sharing this! The warm nostalgia I felt seeing all the illustrations was wonderful. I used to read this book every time I stayed with my grandparents as a young child. I loved/love everything to do with drawing and painting and this was my favourite books!!

10 months ago ·

Thank you so much! This was my favourite book growing up! I used to sit read and stare at the pictures! And it also spoke to my heart so much how he helped the poor villagers and how he stood up against evil. Tiffany, 34

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