Archives for category: Horatio Clare

Published by Firefly

Why on earth I never picked up Horatio’s books before I really don’t know. I am in the middle of this one, having just finished Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds.

These books are beautifully simple, but also wonderfully intricate, a little like a good netsuke. This story is the first in the collection – there is to be a third (Aubrey and the Terrible Spiders), but it is the second one I have read.

Aubrey’s father is under attack by the terrible Yoot. His depression is all pervading, and devastating, but with help Aubrey and his mother there is a chance that things might change. I haven’t finished this yet – and am writing this in my lunch hour at work – because you need to buy it – along with Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds. Touching, clever, educational (I know…), and superbly written this tells the story of what can happen when the black dog gets you between its jaws, when the Yoot begins to colour all your thoughts and life…

This is, I think a 9 – 12 and perhaps I should adjust The Terrible Ladybirds to the same age group – though I think a good eight year old could read both. This one though is a little darker than that. The books encompass natural history, good English, and wonderful story lines. They are marvellous. I am so looking forward to Aubrey and the Terrible Spiders

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Published by Firefly Press

There is an old adage that you should never judge a book by the cover. I believe that on the whole this is true (you can miss superb stories, by assuming things, just because of the illustration and design), however, I am also aware that sometimes a cover can lead to extraordinary books.

This is one such.

On the whole books about the environment can be a little worthy, this though is marvellous – which is just one of the reasons why I love it.

I have thought about reading the first book in this series before, but never got around to it, however, my colleague Tom (without whom my working life would be much more stressful), showed this to me yesterday and I fell in love. First with the cover, with its brilliant design and then found myself enchanted by this wonderful story. The plethora of insects, mammals and arachnid characters are colourful and superb – this is about intolerance, the environment and natural history – a gorgeous extraordinary mix – like nothing else I have come across… There are classical and binomial references too – and the details of the lives of the smaller wildlife, out in our gardens is carefully covered, and there are references too to the solar system and the more complicated aspects of physics…

It is one of those special books. The first volume is called Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, which I will read as soon as I can get hold of a copy. I am also excited to report there is a note in Aubrey and the Terrible Ladybirds that there is to be a third…about spiders – those glorious arachnids… called appropriately enough Aubrey and the Terrible Spiders.

These are books for anyone who is interested in our smaller fauna – with brilliant plots too…I could go on, but I had better not….

Oh, almost forgot – it has some lovely illustrations too – just enough, and not too many by Jane Mathews….