- Mirror of Tears (artist Trini Tinturé)
- A Sticky Tale (poem)
- Parts of Destiny and Romance (feature)
- To Tell You the Truth (text story)
- Bizzie Bet and the Easies (artist Hugh Thornton-Jones)
- Make Friends with Your Mirror (feature)
- The Seven Whistlers – Gypsy Rose story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
- Just Joking
- Give Gypsy Lara a Mouth! (feature)
- The Best Bouquet (writer Linda O’Byrne)
- Strange but True! (feature)
- All My Own Work! (feature)
- Jinty’s Big Puzzle Spread
- Lilliput Christmas (artist Phil Gascoine)
- Witchwynd (text story)
- The Laughing Elf – Gypsy Rose story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
- How S-s-superstitious are You? (quiz)
- Our Newest Nature Reserves! (feature)
- Rinty ‘n’ Jinty
- Alley Cat
- Dairy Delights! (feature)
- Hobbies Calendar 1981 (feature)
- Keep it Handy! (feature)
- She Couldn’t Remember! (artist John Armstrong)
- Tracy on Trial – text story (artist Shirley Bellwood)
- Boo to the Goose! (artist Robert MacGillivray)
- Mother’s Little Helpers (feature)
- The Lost Garden (artist Jim Baikie)
- Have You Got a Magnetic Personality? (quiz)
- Spot the Difference! (puzzle)
- Brenda’s Brownies (cartoon)
- Resolutions Can Be Blooming Fun! (feature)
Pam of Pond Hill headed the advertising for this annual in the regular comic. Perhaps it was the “dumbo” editor’s way of making it up to her for omitting her from the annual and saying it was too late. In fact the only Jinty annual to have a Pond Hill story would be the 1982 annual. The 1983 annual had a Pond Hill feature, which was on its annual bazaar and instructions for the items and games the bazaar had on offer. The 1984 annual had no Pond Hill content at all, and the next two had no Jinty content altogether. The 1981 Jinty annual was the last to reprint a June serial, which was “She Couldn’t Remember!” A girl wakes up in hospital and finds she has completely lost her memory. Everyone calls her Sally and the nice woman who visits her in hospital claims to be her mother. But it doesn’t feel right and it soon becomes apparent that it’s not adding up either. It’s not your typical story about people taking advantage of an amnesic girl. As the story develops, it becomes apparent that someone does not want “Sally” to regain her memory and they are resorting to drugs to do it! And by the looks of the two horrible-looking men she begins to remember, it could be very dangerous if she does remember who she really is. And how is the so-called mother mixed up in it? Strangely, the next annual reprinted a Tammy serial, “Rona Rides Again”.
Pam may have missed out on this annual, but the Jinty characters to make it were “A Girl Called Gulliver” in a Christmas story, “Lilliput Christmas”, “Bizzie Bet and the Easies”, drawn by Hugh Thornton-Jones (and for once, the Easies don’t get the last laugh on Bet), and Gypsy Rose, albeit with reprinted Strange Stories. The Lilliput story is unusual as the original story was a serial, not a regular feature. It was extremely rare for Jinty to publish sequels to serials in her annuals. It shows how popular “A Girl Called Gulliver” must have been. “Gaye’s Gloomy Ghost” is another curious omission from the annual. Come to that, it never appeared in any Jinty annual. What could the reason have been?
Alley Cat and Rinty ‘n’ Jinty are also present. Oddly, Jinty reprinted some Brenda’s Brownies, who never appeared in the regular Jinty. Couldn’t Jinty have made more of an effort there in printing her own material such as another Alley Cat story instead of resorting to a somewhat lazy filler? There is no “Fran’ll Fix It!”, but we do get a Jim Baikie story that looks like it was actually drawn for this annual instead of a reprint of early Baikie from June or whatever. We have to wonder if there are shades of Baikie’s “The Forbidden Garden” as this one is called “The Lost Garden”. Janey is orphaned and only her relatives, though they don’t actually ill-treat her, don’t love her at all. They didn’t even want her in the first place and only took her in because there was nobody else. A rose bush from her old home is her only solace, and her quest to find a garden for it leads to new happiness and guardians who are suitable. “Mirror of Tears” is an unconventional take on the Christmas fare that is routine in a girls’ annual. It is a story of a Christmas haunting that threatens to ruin the Dales’ first Christmas in their new home because Christmas is the anniversary of when it all started. A Victorian girl was looking forward to a present from her father, but all she got for Christmas was tragedy when he died in an accident. Powerful stuff, guaranteed to make readers cry. So will the solution – Vanessa Dale giving the ghost the present she received from her parents. And it was a sacrifice that showed all the spirit of Christmas as the parents can’t afford much at the moment. This has to be one of Jinty’s best complete stories ever and it well deserves to appear first in the annual.
“Boo to the Goose!” is an amusing twist on the saying about shy people not able to say boo to a goose. Gillian’s mother is fed up with her being such a pushover and tells her once and for all that she must learn to say boo to a goose. But she does not count on a real goose teaching Gillian that lesson or walking in with it for a pet!
This is a pretty solid Jinty annual. Although it has some reprints of older material, the Jinty stories are strong, with perhaps “Mirror of Tears” taking top honours, and it is terrific to see them drawn by Jinty’s regular artists. Its only real demerit point is the absence of Pam – what did the editor mean when he said it was too late to include her when she had been running in Jinty for about two years? The annual would have been even better with Pam in it.