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Fantasy Childhood Book Oswald the Sea Monster, Basilisks, Mandrakes...
April 21, 2014 7:36 PM   Subscribe

A favorite childhood book was titled something like "A Mysterious Parcel." It was a translation from another (unknown) language into my own Eastern European language, so the original title might have been quite different.

The book featured a boy and girl who find a mysterious parcel that somehow takes them out of their mundane existence into a magical world with deadly basilisks, screaming mandrake roots, an avuncular, absent-minded wizard who misplaces his eyeglasses in a pot of homemade jam, and of course, Oswald the Sea Monster (I'm pretty sure that was his name, and not that of the wizard). There may have been a phoenix involved. Does any of this ring a bell with anyone?
posted by Atrahasis to Writing & Language (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's The Talking Parcel by Gerald Durrell!
One of my favorites... :) I own a copy.
posted by The otter lady at 8:02 PM on April 21


Oh my god; thank you! Right the very first time! You know, it's interesting because just last year I really enjoyed Durrell's *My Family and Other Animals,* never knowing it was the same author.
posted by Atrahasis at 8:50 PM on April 21


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