Sunday, July 13, 2008

Children's Books - Moomins & Ravens

My interest in fairy tales naturally led me into exploring children's literature and I became something of an expert on the subject after working in the children's book section of a bookshop. I was unerringly drawn towards the more fantastical side of children's books, discovering such writers as Alan Garner, Joan Aiken and Tove Jansson's Moomin books to name a few.

I have all the Moomin books, mostly in paperback, but the three below are hard cover first editions which I acquired in about 1974.

moominvalley (Small) moomin_atsea (Small) moomin_november (Small)

Joan Aiken was a prolific writer - she wrote many children's books, most famously the Wolves of Willoughby Chase series set in an alternate historical Great Britain, many of them featuring her most engaging heroine, Dido Twite. I was saddened by her death 2004 shortly after her second last Dido Twite novel was published, as I've been following the Wolves series for years. All her stories have a charming eccentricity and outrageous plots.

She also had another series of books about a little girl and her pet raven Mortimer. They are hilarious stories as Mortimer foils robbers and gets up to all sorts of madcap raven mischief. They have delightful illustrations by Quentin Blake

aiken_arabelsraven1 (Small) aiken_arabelsraven2 (Small)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love many of these books too. I see work by acclaimed children's books illustrator Helen Oxenbury is appearing in Bayard's Storybox series for September StoryBoxBooks They also have some great ideas for a rainy day!,,