Sez Sue (Pages: 22-23)
Story told by way of a phone conversation, although we only hear Sue’s side of the call, we soon learn she is calling Miss Spinks about the Youth Club play and that rehearsals haven’t been going well. Mostly due to mishaps with Sue, so Miss Spinks isn’t happy to with her suggestion to take on the lead’s part as Linda has come down with the flu!
The Meat-Pie Pony (Pages: 32)
A family save a pony from slaughter. They name him Prince and he costs them a lot to keep but they train him and then when girl is too old to ride him they sell him to a riding school. They then save another pony from slaughter. It’s a story with lot of details on taking care of and training ponies.
Miss Match! (Pages: 104-105)
A narrator (that we don’t find out the name of) doesn’t get on with the smart Lorna. They have little in common but both admire their teacher Miss Clapperton and are in competition for her attention. The narrator makes up lie that Miss Clapperton is seeing her brother John and then tries to make it happen. It’s disastrous but meanwhile Lorna starts acting nice to her and then it turns out John has gotten engaged to Lorna’s sister and her and Lorna become best friends.
Home Cooking (Pages: 112)
Jane dreads her cookery lesson every Wednesday, as she is not as good as other girls. She is surprised when some of the boys actually like her cooking, asking for a sample on the bus home. After that she looks forward to her cooking lessons.
The Racket (Pages: 71-73)
Pauline Langlam is tennis mad but can’t live up to her father and grandmothers legacies. Then she finds her gran’s old racket that Mr Langlam says she used to win Wimbledon. While using it her game approves, but she feels a bit of fraud thinking it has some magical properties. Then her racket goes missing before a big match. Her father finds it and she wins. Afterwards he confesses he just bought it second hand, and also the first racket wasn’t her grans either he just planted it in the attic to give her confidence. Quite odd to have 2 fake rackets, I think the story would have worked the same if only the 2nd racket was fake.
As well as stories, there are plenty of features, a variety of informative articles, crafts and puzzles to keep readers occupied.
Some informative features took the format of a photo strip visiting and learning about different places such as; Beauty salon at Bourne’s London store or Moving Visions Dance Theatre. Others were a series of facts about a certain topic such as what dreaming of certain flower means or fact on hummingbirds.
- Powder ‘n’ Paint (Pages: 10-11)
- Wedding Traditions (Pages: 33)
- Backstage at the Dance (Pages: 34-36)
- Judy Reader’s Calendar 1982 (Pages: 47)
- Fly a Kite (Pages: 88-89)
- Midnight Garden (Pages: 101)
- What an Idea! (Pages: 102-103)
- Flying Gems (Pages: 116-117)
- The Cut ‘n’ Curl Caper (Pages: 118-119)
Crafts & Tips
There is directions to make different crafty things or even just make yourself up such as a Beauty tips article.
- Budding Beauty (Pages: 12)
- Design-a-Card (Pages: 40-41)
- Time Well Waisted (Pages: 49)
- Message Scrambler/Hobby Hint (Pages: 64)
- Rock-a-Bye (Pages: 70)
- Winter Warmers (Pages: 90)
- Natty Napkin Rings (Pages: 108)
- Magic Rings (Pages: 120)
Puzzles & Games
A popular feature for annual was puzzles & quizzes. Often a board game would included too, in this case the objective is to be the first player down a ski track.
- Take a Turn on the Judy Ski-Course (Pages: 16)
- Cracker Crossword /Party Box Maker (Pages: 26)
- Confessions (Pages: 48)
- Could You Be a Star?… (Pages: 68-69)
So quite a jam packed book with most stories only 3 pages, it is able to fit in 24 picture stories as well as 4 text stories and a photo story. Like I said initially, this annual has quite a few spooky/supernatural stories, and they are some of the best stories. Party Girl and Her Finest Hour certainly are the stand outs for me. In both stories the protagonists get what they wish for, but in a twisted way. Samantha certainly seems to be more deserving her fate then Harriet, there is some very spooky imagery with the shadow of the devil greeting Samantha. Meanwhile Harriet trapped in the same hour for eternity because of a badly worded wish seems like a harsh punishment! The Haunted Churchyard is the classic short story trope of the person you are talking to turning out to be ghost, and though I’ve seen this type of story before it is well done and has some lovely art by Norman Lee. The other Lee story The Afanc is quite interesting as it introduces a Welsh legend that I wasn’t familiar with and is a quite unsettling tale. Of all the supernatural stories, Lost Saturday and The Warning have happier endings for the protagonists as the premonitions allow them to save lives.
Along with all these spooky stories there are plenty of regular Judy characters to interest readers, such as Wee Slavey, Cora Cupid, Bobby Dazzler and others. Some the plot contrivances seem a bit much, such as in The Honest Thief the girl borrowing art book from store because she couldn’t pay, when she could have just used a library, even if they didn’t have that exact book they would have other books of interest. Or in First-Time Faith the punchline being she ends up in janitors clothes rather than wedding dress, and somehow couldn’t tell the difference, even if it was dark! I enjoyed Junior Nanny, which is as usual a good heart-warming story and Anita’s Butler, while it did have some questionable plot points, Merton’s conservative view of Anita spending time with boy was funny. I prefer Wee Slavey stories with the Shelby-Smythes, but still interesting to see her life before hand. There is also a number of short humour strips like Big ‘n’ Bertha and Danger, Min at Work, which are fun, light reads. It was a bit surprising to see an Emma Report story as it has been sometime time Emma comic merged with Judy and the Emma Report had not been carried over. Although as these annuals are made so far in advance, it probably wasn’t that much of a gap as it seems.It is a story that doesn’t require a lot of set-up so it works fine here, even if you aren’t familiar with the character. Which could also be said for all the regular characters as the stories written for the annual had to stand alone!
As for the text and photo stories, they are all fine, Sez Sue is my favourite of those as it is humourous and does a good job at getting all the information the reader needs, while only hearing one side of the conversation! I quite liked Home Cooking too, the story didn’t go where I expected, but I like that the praise of Jane’s food, boosts her confidence, when she doesn’t have the other girls around to compare to. Rounding off the annual, lots of fun features to occupy readers attention, I personally quite like the puzzles and games.
This is a really enjoyable read, some strong stories, lovely art and colours.