May 14, 2016

Fourteen What-Do-You-Know Stories

Epworth Press: London, 1948 / Illustrations: ©Stanley Jackson

The What Do You Know Stories simply grew from Leila’s own kids (then about 3 and 7) asking questions and their journalism-trained mother answering them.

As acknowledged in a prefatory note, Leila drew on writing and information from Sir J Arthur Thompson, Professor J B S Haldane, and “Mr Leaky”.

The Jungle Book and other wildlife and nature stories (and expeditions on the Heath) were also popular in the family, and brought more questions, which Leila always encouraged. She loved being able to answer them – and to then write it all down as stories.

Click to read How Jim Saved the Town in full!


The Boy Who Was Rude to a Worm

Why the Platypus is Shy

The Penguin Who Couldn’t Paddle

The Animal Who Wasn’t a Bear

The Bee Who Didn’t Know Yellow

How John Caught the Sea-Horse

The Ostrich Who Learned Not to Kick

The Goat Who Liked Anything

The Silkworm Who Shivered

The Elephant Whose Trunk Was Too Long

How Jim Saved the Town

The Swan Who Came Home

The Camel With the Shrinking Hump

The Ladybird Whose House Caught Fire