Wednesday 17 January 2018

Read in 2017 - 44: The Virgin Mary's Got Nits

The Virgin Mary's Got Nits
A Christmas Anthology
Gervase Phinn

Although I finished the last few pages of this book at the start of 2018, I count it as "read in 2017", because that is when I read most of it.

Gervase Phinn is well known and very popular in England, mainly as the author of "The Little Village School" series. I'd not read anything from him before, but knew of the series and of him as an author and speaker. Have a look at his website to learn more about him; if you don't feel like it now, let me at least give you this quote from the website: "You can always tell a Yorkshireman but you can't tell him much."

This book is a collection of short stories, a few poems, and anecdotes from the many years Mr Phinn was first teaching and then working as an education advisor and school inspector. Some of the anecdotes are really funny and made me laugh - we all know how children can speak up and out when adults would rather say nothing (or put things in a more diplomatic manner), or how things can happen on and off stage at a nativity play at school or in church.

I must admit, though, that I did not always "get" the humour (or the point) of an anecdote. Maybe it was my set of mind at the time I was reading the chapter, or I simply didn't understand something correctly in terms of language, although I never had that impression myself.

Anyway, I did enjoy the short stories and like Gervase Phinn's unpretentious and clear writing style, allowing the reader to picture people and places easily. I may look into his other books, and will certainly be back to his website.


  1. I have only read the first couple of Gervase Phinn's school books but enjoyed them immensely. He's an accomplished storyteller.

    1. Have you also read Jack Sheffield's "Teacher" books? The two series are often compared to each other, and I enjoy the Jack Sheffield ones very much.

  2. I'm not at all familiar with this author or his books - thanks for the heads up though - we all need a good laugh now and then!