jo kemp vintage 1980s childrens books author optimized

A photo of  Jo Kemp and her son Luke in the 1970s, during the nascent stage of her writing career.

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Vintage 1980s Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap

This book is all about Terrence and yes, he’s a tap. Vintage 1980s Children’s book “Terence The Terrible Tap”.

  • Title: Terence The Terrible Tap
  • Publish Date: 1980
  • ISBN: 85985 141 9
  • Author:Jo Kemp
  • Illustrator: Peter Beard
jo kemp vintage 1980s childrens books author optimized

A photo of  Jo Kemp and her son Luke in the 1970s at around the time she wrote Terence The Terrible Tap.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 1

Terence was a tap. He lived very happily with his sister Tina at the end of the bath in what was a very comfortable bathroom.
But Terence was sometimes terribly naughty. He was always doing things he shouldn’t.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 2

Once, he set the world record for dripping.

And gave Bernard the bath a world record headache!

He froze in the middle of summer, although I don’t really believe it.

And once he ran dry when everywhere else was flooded!

One day Terence was feeling rather board.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 3

“Let’s have an adventure at sea!” Terence said, and Bernard the bath sighed.
“How can we?” Bernard asked and sighed again because Terence’s ideas usually meant trouble.
Terence took no notice and, before anyone could say any more, he reached down and put Bernard’s plug in.
“You see,” Terence explained, “the sea can come to us!” And he turned himself sharply to the right and emptied a whole packet of bath salts.
Cheee! Shush! Cheee! Bubble!
Water gushed out and began filling Bernard.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 4

“Oh Terence!” said Tina timidly. “I don’t think you should.”
But already it was far too late.
Sefton the soap dish wanted to play and so did Sudsy the soap.
Then Tis and Tisant the toothbrushes clattered over with Louise the loofa and Talbot the talc.
They all wanted to have an adventure.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 5

“Once upon a time,” began Terence in his best telling-a-story voice, “there was a ship lost at sea…”

“That’s me!” said Louise and sailed around the bath.

“Suddenly,” continued Terence, “A pirate ship appeared on the horizon.”

“That’s me!” said Sefton the soap dish and began chasing Louise.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 6

Sudsy the soap thought it would be fun to try and sink Sefton.
So he took a run and jump.
And nearly sank Louise instead!
“That’s not fair!” she said tearfully while the toothbrushes giggled.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 7

Just then, Talbot the talc decided to join in.

Puff! Whomph! Puff!

He puffed and puffed until everything was covered by a thick cloud of talc.

“Fog!” shouted Terence and thought it was quite exciting.  But fog, after a while, can get very boring, so Terence turned to Bernard for help.

“Could you blow it away?” he asked very nicely, and Bernard, grumpy old Bernard the bath, had to admit that after all, he was quite enjoying himself.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 8

Bernard took a big breath and blew.
“Whooooo!”
The fog cleared but the wind made waves as big as mountains.
“Whooo! Whoooo!” blew Bernard.
“More more!” squealed Terence and, getting terribly excited, he gushed out water as fast as he could.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 6

“Help! help!” cried Louise, “I’m sinking!” “So are we,” called everyone else.
“I’ll save you,” shouted Terence, “I’ll throw you a line.”
And, without really thinking, he grabbed hold of the toothpaste and squeezed.
It was rather a silly idea.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 7

Bernard the bath laughed, then laughed harder still as a great worm of toothpaste wriggled and squiggled up in the air and landed with a splodge on Louise.
“Ugh!” cried Louise.
“Ugh!” cried everyone. Then Tina, the other tap, noticed the mess they were making.
“Stop stop!” she said to Terence. “You must turn yourself off before we all get flooded away!”

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 8

But Terence, terrible Terence, couldn’t turn himself off. In the excitement he’d got himself stuck.
Bernard stopped laughing and looked worried.
“I’m flooding!” he gulped, but Terence still couldn’t stop.
The water rose higher and higher until it reached the brim of the bath, wobbled for a moment then…
Gush!

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 9

The water spilled over the side of the bath and onto the floor taking Louise the loofa, Sefton the soap dish, Sudsy the soap, Tis and Tisant the toothbrushes and even Talbot the talc with it.
“Wheee!” squealed Sudsy as they swirled around the bathroom.
“Oh!” giggled Louise as they gushed down the stairs.
“Ah!” laughed Talbot as they tumbled through the kitchen.
“What a smashing adventure!” they all agreed as they finally flooded out of the back
door and happily swirled off down the street.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 10

Meanwhile, back in the bathroom, Spencer the spanner had been awakened by the noise.
“What’s going on!” he demanded and got crosser and crosser as Terence tried to explain.
“I… I can’t stop gushing,” Terence said feeling silly and, at the same time, rather nervous. He was a bit afraid of Spencer. Spencer frowned, Terence trembled and Bernard felt rather ashamed.
“Hmph!” grunted Spencer at last and with a few more strange noises he made up his mind.
“There’s only one thing to do,” he declared, and took a deep breath.

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1980 Children Book – Terence The Terrible Tap Page 11

Clonk!
Spencer clonked Terence on the head as hard as he could.
Poor Terence saw stars. Red ones, green ones and yellow ones.
“That was rather unkind,” thought Bernard, but he didn’t dare say so.
Terence thought it was rather unkind as well, but it did the trick.

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The water stopped gushing, it stopped splashing and at last it even stopped dripping.
Terence rubbed the bump on his head.
“I’m going to keep out of trouble in future,” he said to Bernard.
And Bernard agreed.
“I’m only going to do good things,” Terence decided.

….”Would anyone care to see a tap dance?”

1980 children book terence the terible tap inside cover jo kemp
Terence The Terrible Tap Vintage 1980s Book

If you liked this story, please share Terence’s 1980s book so others can find it.  Thanks for reading.

About Terence – Terence sits at the end of the bath with his sister Tina and between bathtimes, he often gets bored and this leads to mischief.  Once he set a world record for dripping and this gave Bernard (the bath) a world-breaking headache.

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