Thursday, 1 October 2015

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (80th Anniversary Collector's Edition) by Edward Ardizzone (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

It's nearly 80 years since this salty and nautical children's tale first bobbed up and down on the crest of a wave. Do the Little Tim stories still appeal to children today? Do they ever!
We've previously discussed the newly released versions of the classic "Little Tim" books by Edward Ardizzone and you can read all about them here. But today sees the release of a very special edition of the first "Little Tim" story - "Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain", celebrating 80 years of the books with a large format hardback, with all newly coloured versions of Ardizzone's gorgeous nautical inky drawings.

Charlotte loves the Little Tim stories to bits, mostly because they're hugely exciting but largely because kids today really don't get to run away to sea to become sailors, or have amazing adventures like Tim does.

It's little Tim's dream to become a sailor and if he's not messing about with toy boats, he's wistfully gazing at ships passing on the horizon near his seaside home. Little Tim gets the opportunity of a lifetime to visit a real ship and its captain thanks to a sailor friend, and jumps at the chance. Rather naughtily though, Little Tim stows away - and that's just the start of an amazing adventure.

Life aboard ship isn't quite as idyllic as Tim might imagine, particularly if you're found to be a stowaway. Tim is soon pressed into some hard work by the ship's captain and company, and soon tearfully regrets his rather rash actions.

But Tim manages to impress captain and crew, and despite his pint-sized demeanour, becomes a valuable asset and a bit of a mascot. But woe is on the horizon as the ship falters during a storm, leaving Little Tim and the Captain to their fate, a watery end in Davy Jones' Locker! EEEK!

The book's language might feel quite old fashioned in places but it's a lovely lyrical read. We love the large format of this, but I'm really not a fan of the recoloured illustrations at all (they look muddy and indistinct in places, rather than the wonderfully scratchy and inky drawings that were Ardizzone's trademark).

That said, it's the story that's enthralling and exciting and although we'd only recently reviewed the other books, Charlotte could not wait to hear "Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain" all over again. It's blisteringly brilliant, exciting and adventurous stuff indeed! Happy 80th Little Tim!

Charlotte's favourite bit: She loves hearing all about Davy Jones' Locker (and what it means) but I don't think she's ready for a visit just yet.

Daddy's favourite bit: The story is as fantastic as ever, the large book format is perfect for sprawling out on the floor with. Really not a fan of those newly recoloured drawings though but perhaps I'm just too in love with the originals.

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

"Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain"

Written and Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Release Date: 1st October 2015