They kept it in the bath, but didn't make a movie about it
December 28, 2007 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify this UK children's book about a sea monster kept in a house! It's not The Water Horse!

Vague nostalgia-filter:

An ad for The Water Horse (the movie) reminded me of a similar book. I cannot remember the title, but I owned this book and never owned The Water Horse.

Brief plot line:
- Children buy an ornament/memento from Angelsey (while on a school trip?) with a stone as a base. Maybe some other seaside resort? I have it in my head as Anglesey.
- The stone turns out to be an egg, which hatches into a sea monster.
- Part of the plot includes the monster moving to the local canal because it was too big for the house.

Salient points:
- The book would have been bought in the 1990s, in the UK (probably through one of those pamphlets that school kids were given with an order form for books that would then be delivered to them c/o the school).
- The title may have been "A gift from Angelsey" (A Google and an search revealed nothing with any similar title).

My partner suggested I imagined the whole thing. Help me prove him wrong!
Once again: I am very sure that this is not "The Water Horse" by Dick-King Smith.
posted by subbes to Writing & Language (10 answers total)
Response by poster: P.S. I believe the book had line-drawing illustrations in the paperback copy I owned.
posted by subbes at 6:01 PM on December 28, 2007

"The Boggart" by Susan Cooper?
posted by bubukaba at 6:11 PM on December 28, 2007

Some parts sound a bit like The Sea Egg, but it was a merboy that hatched from the egg, not a sea monster.
posted by iconomy at 6:27 PM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for borh of those: however, I don't think either is the one. The setting was pretty modern (or at least not old enough for me to class it with the Arthur Ransome or Enid Blyton books I was reading, so maybe 70s or 80s if not 90s-era) and it was a non-humanoid sea-monster -- though I can't rule out the possibility that it communicated.

The most irritating part of this is that I feel like I can remember some of the text, in that on-the-tip-of-my tongue manner, but nothing is coming that I could Google. I knew I should have eaten more fish as a child to enhance my memory.
posted by subbes at 6:42 PM on December 28, 2007

Best answer: What about A Gift from Winklesea? It also seems to be called Mystery of Winklesea.
posted by iconomy at 6:43 PM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: I found it! A Gift from Winklesea, by Helen Cresswell. Pub 1971. It took a lot of hand-crafted Googling with quote marks and minus marks and stuff for that to come up.
posted by subbes at 6:52 PM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: On post: iconomy, thanks! I didn't refresh before posting my comment. Truly, it's a pre-new-year miracle!
posted by subbes at 6:54 PM on December 28, 2007

Good! How did you end up finding it? I found it using book uk seaside stone egg hatches.
posted by iconomy at 7:07 PM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: I found it through "A gift from" +egg +seaside -donation. There are a lot of books talking about egg donation that start with "A gift from," which muddled things somewhat.
posted by subbes at 9:07 PM on December 28, 2007

Response by poster: A fine update to this AskMe: I got a copy from a MeFite on BookCrossing, and the Gift sits on my bookshelf amongst my other beloved readables.
posted by subbes at 3:53 PM on February 3, 2008

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