Archives for category: 2018 May

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Published by Egmont

May 2018

Michael Morpurgo has become known for his books about animals in war. So much so that when I told a colleague I had just read a proof of a book due to be out in May, he assumed that this new title would be another such. This one though, isn’t quite the same. The only reference to animals is that of the wolf in the title, which though pertinent is, perhaps, unfair to wolves…

The book is about two brothers at the beginning of the last war. Both enjoying, words and poetry. One became an actor, the other a teacher. When Hitler changed all of that, one joined the RAF, the other, a pacifist, leaves to work the land.

What happens next changes both their lives forever and one finds himself in the jaws,  ‘in the mouth of the wolf’.

Michael Morpurgo needs no introduction. This book is of his usual calibre – in addition a personal history from this extraordinary author. The book is illustrated by Barroux – simply, but powerfully.

This is not one to be missed. It is to be published in hardback; I hope that, in addition, Egmont gives it good quality paper too. This is an important volume.

 

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Published by Scholastic

May 2018

A re-imagining of The Little Mermaid.

I received a copy of The Little Mermaid in 1971 – for a prize for attendance at my first school. Not really sure about such a prize. I think my mother should have received it. The fact that I never missed a day was surely down to her. It was an Emerald Book, published by World Distributions and retold by Mae Broadley and illustrated by Jo Berriman – sadly I can’t find a picture on the Internet of it. So it must be rare and obviously, all the more valuable, because I won it at school…

That aside, I have just gone downstairs and found it. Yes, I still have it – its in ‘good’ condition. Well, what would you expect from a girl brought up by an antiquarian bibliophile? I suppose I should really say, the daughter of a bibliophile who collects antiquarian books. Dad may be in his 80’s, but he’s not antiquarian, yet. It is a hardback picture book version with illustrations which are slightly dated, (none the worse for that) and pale; the book wasn’t printed on art paper. So it was a subtly produced volume, the colours were muted. Rather lovely.

I vaguely remembered the story when I received my proof of The Surface Breaks, but not in any great detail. This edition, is without doubt a teen / YA book – written just as Hans Christian Anderson wrote his tales. Without doubt this is a new rendition he would have approved of.

It is a story of coming of age. The patriarchal oppression of women. Of bravery, love and ultimately, sacrifice. This is not a ‘Disney’ version of this tale – it is a strong punchy and determined shout. Dark and twisted.

The cover on the proof has some rather lovely mermaid scales – whether that will translate through to the finished book is in the lap of the ‘Book Gods’.