This is annual number 71 and was published for Christmas 2006.
---Why I Bought This---
Acually I was given this as a gift - weird you may think - but I had it from my niece who knows I have always been a Rupert fan - as have all the family.
The book contains six stories:
* Rupert and the Chimney Sweep
* Rupert and Um Island
* Rupert and the Peacock Hedge
* Rupert and the Present Mix-up
* Rupert and the Missing Snowmen
* Rupert and Little Yum
The book also has an origami pattern, a recipe, word search puzzle and a spot the difference page.
30.4 x 21.6 x 1.4 cm.
---Background to Rupert---
Rupert Bear has been a comic strip character in the Express Newspaper since 1920. The annuals have been produced since 1936 and even continued during the War years.
Rupert is a fictional little bear character who lives in the village of Nutwood with his parents. He and his parents and friends all wear clothes - his mother dresses in is a long dress and apron and his father is in a patterned sweater and often with a bow tie.
Rupert's friends are different little animals: Bill Badger, Willie Mouse, Edward Trunk (elephant), Algie Pug etc. They live in a sort of time warp era, Rupert has an old black telephone at home, there are a few old fashioned cars and steam trains, at Christmas the 'children' (i.e. Rupert and his friends) get given old fashioned toys as presents - ball, sailing boat, wooden soldiers, spinning top etc.
Rupert is depicted as a wite bear in the stories in the book, but is brown on the covers. He always wears yellow and black check trousers and a red sweater, plus a yellow and black check scarf when necessary. He will wear black wellingtons in winter and also a bright red coat - this does not clash with Father Christmas in the seasonal stories as Santa always has to be dressed in a slightly darker shade of red.
£7.50 at full price but now reduced to £2.85 plus £2.80 postage.
---Why I Like Rupert---
I have always had Rupert books from the early 1960s when I inherited some of my sisters. Then I would have annuals of my own, later I would get them for my nieces and then my own sons - so I have had a long relationship with him.
What I liked about Rupert was that it was timeless. the little village of Nutwood was always the same - Rupert would go out and have adventures in the countryside - but always came back home safely to his little cottage. There was no violence - even if Rupert got kidnapped - and it all worked out right in the end.
My sons in the 90s also enjoyed Rupert - both on TV and the annuals - especially doing the 'spot the difference' puzzles - it did not seem to occur to us that he was not 'current' with TVs and mobile phones - it was part of his charm.
This is a good quality book with bright colour pictures on each page.
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.
Inside the covers of Rupert Annuals is always a double page spread of Rupert, his pals and the countryside around Nutwood - in this book it is a snow scene but with only eleven individuals in it it seems quite bare and not as colourful and jam-packed as they normally were.
The stories are bright and colourful, but some have been in annuals before which is a bit of a con really. It is nice to see a seasonal story about the snowmen though.
---Other Rupert Items---
There is much merchandising connected with Rupert - from ornaments to DVDs, cuddly toys and Doulton figurines. There was The Frog Song with Paul Mac Cartney as well.
---Rupert Up To Date---
Unfortunately Rupert has been brought 'up to date' in the last few years - now he wears trainers and a sweatshirt - not my sort of thing at all.
More on this new Rupert at - http://www.rupertbear.com
His new TV series have been aired on channel FIVE since 2006.
This is a fan club for Rupert which has regular newsletters and articles on Rupert. Their website is at - http://www.ee.ed.ac.uk/~afm/followers/
---Next Rupert Annual---
The Christmas 2012 Rupert Annual is now available for pre-order o Amazon for £7.99.
However this one will only be containiNg four stories and has only 72 pages.