You know, I’m not very bright at remembering things.

What’s a telegraph office? Can you eat it?

Little dear, by all means do exactly as you like!

But I suppose you’re badly brought up. Or not brought up at all. Or born impossible to bring up.

By my demon eye, you’re a real friend.

Schools of sea spooks crossed our course, and now and then a tittering trail of mermaids appeared in our wake. We fed them with oatmeal.

And you mustn’t express yourself so naturally.

Believe me: there’s nothing more dangerous in life than to become an indoor sitter.

The comet roared with its flaming tail right through the valley, across the forest and the mountains, and then disappeared again over the edge of the world.

And there it was rolling tirelessly in towards them, glittering and gleaming like soft blue silk, the same old sea that they had always loved!

It was one of those lovely warm afternoons full of the scent of flowers and the humming of bees, and the garden was brilliant with the deep colours of late summer.

A new door to the Unbelievable, to the Possible, a new day that can always bring you anything if you have no objection to it.

There might be ants in the tree, and if they bite you you’ll swell up and grow bigger than an orange.

I don’t want friends who are kind without really liking me and I don’t want anybody who is kind just so as not to be unpleasant. And I don’t want anybody who is scared. I want somebody who is never scared and who really likes me. I want a mamma!

I’m born under special stars,’ I said. ‘I was found in a small shell padded with velvet.

For if you’re not afraid how can you be really brave?

So they sat in a row on the beach, very close to one another, and Sniff sat in the middle because he thought it was safest.

Wise as she was, she realized that people can postpone their rebellious phases until they’re eighty-five years old, and she decided to keep an eye on herself.

Robes, dresses, frocks. They hung in endless rows, in hundreds, one beside the other all around the room – gleaming brocade, fluffy clouds of tulle and swansdown, flowery silk, night-black velvet with glittering spangles everywhere like small, many-coloured blinker beacons.