Tag Archive for Children’s Books

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!

Ian Fleming’s story of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! the Magical Car adapted by Al Perkins; ill. B Tobey (Collins and Harvill, 1969) Lurking irresponsibly in the otherwise excellent Beginner Readers series, this gobsmacking tripe features a domestically lobotomised housewife and Fleming-modelled gung-ho husband. “Let’s blow up all this stuff,” said Jeremy. “That’s a fine idea,” said Mrs. Pott. “Then we…

The Super-Roo of Mungalongaloo

The Super-Roo of Mungalongaloo by Osmar White, ill. Jeff Hook (Wren, 1973) There is something delightfully enthralling — and quintessentially Australian — in Osmar White’s tale of Scotsman Angus McGurk’s intrepid expedition into the perilous heart of the Dreaded Deadibone Desert, this fanciful undertaking gaining impetus through the punchy illustrations of acclaimed newspaper cartoonist Jeff Hook.  

42 Word Retrospective: The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross

The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross (Oxford University Press, 1982) The first in an award-winning series of children’s books featuring schoolkids Dinah, Lloyd and Harvey, who must fight back against the eponymous demon headmaster — a sinister man/creature who uses his hypnotic powers to take over the school… while eyeing even bigger conquests!  

42 Word Retrospective: The Great Piratical Rumbustification by Margaret Mahy

The Great Piratical Rumbustification (& The Librarian and the Robbers) by Margaret Mahy (J. M. Dent, 1978) Two stories by New Zealand’s doyen of children’s books: the second, a quietly subversive extolment of libraries; the first, a droll yet puckishly young-at-heart parable on quality of life, with bonhomous pictures by Quentin Blake and an endearingly rumtiddlyumptious neologism to boot!