Who knew you could fry buttercups?

Edward Lear, that’s who.

I have had this copy of the Pobble Who Has No Toes since I was about four. It is falling apart and some of the illustrations are mildly terrifying, as all the gents look Victorian and creepy, and like they should be smoking pipes carved from whalebone and investing in the railways. And is it me, or is that Isambard  Kingdom Brunel in the background?


the pobble 1

the pobble 2

And Pobbles eat and drink weird things, ‘lavender water tinged with pink’, and the dish of fish fried with eggs and buttercups.

And Pobbles generally always look a bit scary. Here is another interpretation of a Pobble, which reminds me of Dobby form Harry Potter.




And maybe all this weirdness is really good for kids, and maybe in spite of being slightly scared of Pobbles, I have a bond with them, as the whole point of the book is that he loses his toes. And no, not through diabetes, but because the red flannel came off his nose when he swam the Bristol Channel (makes sense when you don’t think about it), and I lost a toe as I was born with eleven of them, so they took it away when I was a little girl to make shoe buying easier.