Posted on November 02 2020
A long lost classic, Phoebe and the Hot Water Bottles is a children's story that is remembered with fondness by those who were fortunate enough to have heard it! The book was first mentioned to me by my daughters Pre-school teacher (my daughter took one of our hot water bottles in to tell the class what her mummy did for work), who nostalgically told me what a lovely book it was and how she was saddened by the fact that the one they had had in pre-school had been stolen many many years ago.
Intrigued, and perplexed at how I had never heard about the book, I did a little research. The book is about a little girl called Phoebe who is celebrated for her resourcefulness, which enables her to play creative games with her remarkable collection of hot water bottles. Every year her father gives her a hot water bottle when she is due a present rather than the puppy she is really longing for. The book was taken out of print in 1977 [a while before I was born!] because the fire-service was alarmed that, if faced with a fire, impressionistic young readers might emulate Phoebe who put out a fire in her house with her very very large collection of hot water bottles. The worry at the time was that impressionistic young readers might emulate Phoebe and try to put a fire out with their hot water bottles.
Rare copies of the book now go for in excess of £75, so I went online and found a YouTube video which you can watch here and either enjoy a good story about hot water bottles if you've never heard it before, and reminisce if you remember the story from your childhood.