Here are the occasional reflections of a joyful traveller along the strange pathways of fantasy and adventure. All my reviews are independent and unsolicited.

I started this blog intending to write only about children's fantasy ('magic fiction') but have since widened my scope to include any work of children's fiction that I have read and enjoyed. Fantasy will still probably predominate, as it remains a favourite genre, but I cannot now resist sharing thoughts on other wonderful books too. (MG and occasionally YA.)

Here you will find only recommendations, never negative reviews. If I read a book which I feel is less than wonderful (which happens far more often than not) then I simply don't write about it. I want this blog to be a celebration of some of the truly great books authors are currently writing for our children and of the important, life-affirming experiences these offer. It is but a very small thank you for the wonderful gifts these writers give.

I was, recently, graciously awarded an MBE. It pleased me, not so much for myself, but as an affirmation of my career-long efforts to promote children's reading and the high quality literature which supports it.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

The Book of Dust: 1 La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Paperback Edition)




If there are any children's literature enthusiasts left who haven't read La Belle Sauvage then the opportunity of its recent issue in paperback should not be missed. This sequel/prequel to His Dark Materials wonderfully extends and expands what is undoubtedly one of the  masterworks of contemporary fantasy. (See my full review from October 2017.)

However, even for those who already own a hardback copy, this new edition is worth buying for its inclusion of new original artwork by Chris Wormell. His many striking wood engravings now augment the scale, richness and intensity of the story most effectively. Like all the very best illustrations,  they help create both the detail and the drama of  the narrative without demeaning either the author's vivid text or the reader's own imagination. They are in themselves a stunning achievement and their images will long haunt this particular reader, along I suspect with many others, so that I can now hardly countenance the book without them. 

For those who have already ridden in the 'Sauvage' they provide a compelling incentive to read it all again. In fact, if you will excuse me . . .