Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fly Away Peter by Frank Dickens and Ralph Steadman (Pavilion Children's Books)

Did you know there was such a thing as a short-necked Giraffe? You do now!
In "Fly Away Peter" by Frank Dickens and Ralph Steadman (a brilliant '60s book republished and reprinted for the first time since 2008) we meet Jeffrey the Giraffe.

Jeffrey is a bit sad, he never really feels like he fits in amongst the other animals on the Savannah.

But Jeffrey is about to meet someone else who feels exactly the same way. Peter is a bird who can't fly. So when a giraffe with a short neck and a bird who can't fly become the best of friends, each can inspire the other to be happy with the animal they are, and find their own place in the world.

For a 1960s book the message is bang up to date, and it's astonishing to see books like this from an era when we imagine children's books were just finding their own faltering feet - but had actually set in stone the templates that children's books today still follow.

It's a real treat! As a long standing fan of Ralph Steadman's more grown-up work, I never even knew that he'd once illustrated children's books quite regularly.

Pick up this stunning little tale. "Fly Away Peter" is out now, published by Pavilion Children's Books (kindly sent for review).