A few months ago I saw Neil Gaiman posting a tweet about this book. Thirty seconds later, before reading anything Gaiman had to say about it, I had already ordered a copy. ⠀
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when its cover is this good — well, one can be forgiven, I think.⠀
And anyway, I didn’t immediately purchase it solely because of the cover. I also bought it because of the title, which I think is brilliant, and whimsical, and I just love it so. It’s probably my favorite title, of any book, from the last couple of years.⠀
What Gaiman wrote about this book was this: “There is so much wisdom and so much that matters inside the covers of this very tiny book.” Which is thoroughly accurate. I’ve yet to read any of Katherine Rundell’s books of fiction, but if they are as full of wit and charm as insight as this modest but inspired assertion of children’s books, then I am sure to be a fan.⠀
Ignore those who would call it mindless escapism: it’s not escapism: it is findism. Children’s books are not a hiding place, they are a seeking place.
This book is primarily meant to encourage older readers to find, once again, the joy and magic of children’s literature — and that is great and commendable and important — but as someone who also wishes to write stories for kids as well as adults one day, I think this small gem of a book is invaluable.⠀
Those who write for children are trying to arm them for the life ahead with everything we can find that is true. And perhaps, also, secretly, to arm adults against those necessary compromises and necessary heartbreaks that life involves: to remind them that there are and always will be great, sustaining truths to which we can return.⠀
And you will find yourself, much like I did, highlighting most of the wisdom and wit contained within.