“ 50th anniversary Edition / Hardcover: 100 pages / Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services Ltd / Published: 27 Aug 1985 „
* Prices may differ from that shown
===This is the 50th annual and was published in 1985===
Publisher: Express Newspaper (1985)
Daily Express Annual
===The Book in Detail===
Hard cover with image of Rupert being carried along in a procession by his friends. Rupert is carrying a copy of the first Rupert Annual which was published in 1936 - while Bill Badger is carrying a copy of this annual. The image on the cover wraps around to the back with more celebrations underway. Mrs Bear (Rupert's mum) has baked a cake which reads 'Happy Anniversary'. On the back cover among Rupert's friends is a gentleman in glasses with a notepad - this is meant to be Alfred Bestall who for many years worked on the Rupert Annuals and stories. The illustration is by John Harrold.
The endpapers at the front are also by John Harrold and show Rupert off for a jaunt in the woods, with the Elves of Spring looking on - this was entitled 'In Search of Adventure'.
Price triangle still present showing £2.75 and there is a place for a child to write their name.
The book contains six stories:
* Rupert, Bill and the Pearls - 22 pages
* Rupert and Pong Ping's Party - 11 pages
* Rupert and the Unknown Journey - 10 pages
* Rupert and the Snowstorm - 19 pages
* Rupert and the Pirate Boys - 18 pages
* Rupert and the Windmill - 14 pages.
The book also has:-
* Page of Rupert's 50 year history
* Page showing the original 1936 annual cover
* Page showing the original origami make from 1946.
£2.75 at full price. Currently can be picked up second hand on Amazon for £2.27.
===The Annual Itself===
First impressions was that I liked the cover - having a really good image of Rupert and his little home village of Nutwood. Most of his friends are present and it is a nice touch to have him carrying a copy of the 1936 annual. Also including Alfred Bestall on the back cover is a nice tribute to someone who spent so many years working 'with Rupert.
This book has six stories, one from each decade that the annuals have been produced. .
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.
Each page mostly has four colour pictures each with rhyming couplets underneath, then at the bottom of the page are two larger paragraphs to read if you wish.
The illustrations are bright and colourful.
===Rupert's 50th Annual Page===
This page gives some background into the annuals, which began in 1936 and which were all done by Alfred Bestall until 1973 when he gave up doing the endpapers and covers - though some of his stories and drawings continued to be used.
This 50th annual is a salute to Alfred Bestall and contains a story from each decade.
===Rupert, Bill and the Pearls, 1930s story by Alfred Bestall===
Rupert and Bill make a guy, Bill dresses as they guy and runs into the woods, where they meet robbers and get kidnapped. Rupert gets away and eventually rescues Bill - along with the pearl necklace.
===Rupert and Pong Ping's Party, 1940s story by Alfred Bestall===
Rupert's friend Pong Ping takes him on a journey n a magic carpet. They travel over snow and eventually reach a desert island where natives live.
They fly off and Rupert's wish is to have a party at Nutwood - and when they arrive back there is a Christmas tree and loads of presents.
===Rupert and the Unknown Journey, 1950s story by Alfred Bestall===
Rupert finds a little man who does not speak English. Rupert then discovers a flying saucer and lots of other little people. They dress Rupert in a thick blue coat and warm gloves and then rescue their friend.
===Rupert and the Snowstorm, 1960s story by Alfred Bestal===
Rupert's dad has a cold, and while out fetching medicine Rupert sees a passing storm. this turns out to be a conjurer visiting Tiger Lily's home. Rupert falls in the snow and gets wet boots. However the conjurer gives Rupert a pair of magic boots that won't stop and he keeps walking round in circles in the snow. Tiger Lily makes them stop and Rupert heads home. Tiger Lily also brings special medicine for Rupert's dad which is better than that which Rupert was fetching for him.
===Rupert and the Pirate Boys, 1970s story by John Harrold and James Henderson===
Rupert is on holiday at rocky Bay and sees the Professor and his servant who he knows form Nutwood. they have a boat to try out - and it turns out to be a flying boat! It lands on an island and then gets involved with pirates.
===Rupert and the Windmill, 1980s story by John Harrold and James Henderson===
Rupert and his pals are out playing when they discover a windmill. It turns out their friend Bingo the dog is inside. However the sails go round so fast the windmill takes off and flies over the sea. They end up landing on a boat with smugglers.
===What I Thought===
This annual is a great collectors piece for any Rupert fans.
The cover is bright and colourful, showing Rupert and all his friends - it is also a fitting tribute to have an image of Alfred Bestall among Rupert's pals on the back cover of the book.
For those who are not familiar with Rupert the page on his 50 years of annuals is very interesting.
The book has a story from each decade from 1936 to 1985/6 when this book was published - it is a testament to the timeless quality of Rupert that if you did not know the dates of the Rupert stories you would be hard pressed to tell which were the older ones and which were the new.
On the cover Rupert is holding a copy of he original 1936 Rupert Annual and the full wrap-around back and front cover is reproduced inside this annual - showing Rupert out with his friends and flying a kite - and with the Professor's Tower in the background.
There is a good mix of stories and two that have references to snow and Christmas - which is always fitting for a book that comes out in time for Christmas.
The origami page is a reproduction of the very first one included in a Rupert Annual - a paper bird form the 1946 edition.
Two things are missing from this book though - the back does not have endpapers - the first time I have ever seen this - as always the ones from the front are also on the back, plus there are no puzzles in this edition - again something that the others have always had as far as I can recall.
However as this is a 50th commemorative book it is entitled to be slightly different.
===Its good points===
* Super cover.
* Gives 50 year's of Rupert Annual history.
* Commemorates Alfred Bestall.
* Has copy of 1936 Rupert cover.Has copy of 1946 origami bird.
* No puzzle pages.
* No back endpapers.
===Would I Recommend?===
Yes - has five stories - just what you need in an annual.