What is this book?
May 8, 2009 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this comical children's adventure story book from the 80s...

From what I remember, the plot featured 2 boys who leave their house through the bedroom window and travel in baskets on some kind of pulley system to a sort of fantasy world (or at least to somewhere that they've never heard of before). When they leave they are wearing dressing gowns and wellington boots into which they have stuffed sausage rolls, which they use as bait to distract some birds which attack them as they're travelling in the baskets. IIRC the birds are called Scissor Birds or Razor Birds or something.

The only other details I can recall are even more vague. Possibly the boys are searching for a golden cactus (or maybe just a cactus or maybe no cactus at all, but i'm pretty certain one features in the plot somewhere).
I think they meet a character from either legend (e.g. Robin Hood) or from another children's book (Captain Hook rings some bells), but it might just be they meet a characrter like that, rather than the character themselves. Either they get captured and escape using a key that they made by making a mold for it out of chewing gum, or they steal something (maybe the cactus) using that key.

Finally, I think the title may contain the word(s) "Adventure"/"Adventures" and/or "Captain". It was published in the 1980s I reckon. I think it may have been published by Corgi, the cover was white with a coloured, cartoonish picture on the front which I think featured some people trying to jump over a crocodile. I have it stuck in my head that the author's surname was Bushell, pretty certain it was a male author and I would have said that he was from the UK or maybe Australia. It seemed like the book might be part of a series but I never actually read any others if they were published.

I know this is a long shot but this has been bugging me for years!
posted by kumonoi to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
It sounds like you're thinking of one of the "Captain Cobwebb's Adventures" books! They were written by Gordon Boshell. Read #46 here, where a golden cactus is also mentioned.
posted by iconomy at 5:20 PM on May 8, 2009

That's U46, not #46. It says

U46: Uncle Toby, boys adventures
I vaguely remember 2 boys in a children's book who had an uncle Toby who sent them on really fantastic, almost surreal trips. I think there was a series of the books. Sadly, I can't remember much else.

Gordon Boshell, Captain Cobwebb. That could be this long series - the uncle was Septimus Cobwebb (and was invisible) but Toby was one of the boys (his older brother was David). If Fanty the elephorse, the Leopillar, the Golden Cactus, the shershl (an invisible bus) and/or being kidnapped by a sort of ground-effect horseshoe crab with tentacles ring any bells then the requester's looking for this.

posted by iconomy at 5:23 PM on May 8, 2009

Yes? No? Maybe so?
posted by iconomy at 7:23 AM on May 9, 2009

Tra la la? Sis boom bah?
posted by iconomy at 10:40 PM on May 9, 2009

yay! thank you so much!
posted by kumonoi at 1:29 PM on May 10, 2009

You're welcome! I was just going to keep posting until you replied ;P
posted by iconomy at 2:08 PM on May 10, 2009

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