Thursday, 5 June 2014

The 'Tim' books by Edward Ardizzone

We were bought the box set of the 'Tim' books by Edward Ardizzone by my dad when Rosie was only about two years old and I've been saving them to read until she is old enough. I think we're finally there! We've read Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain three times this week so far, they're obviously as appealing now as they were when I was young. Not really a surprise!
They are true classic picture books with superb, beautiful illustrations. They are also great adventure stories of a type that you don't see much of in picture books today. The ending of Tim and the sea captain has Tim asking his parents if he can go away to sea again (after he's been rescued by a lifeboat from a sinking steamer in the middle of the ocean) and his parents say 'yes'. I'd be interested to see if that would get through in a modern picture book!

The story of The Brave Sea Captain is an interesting one because the main protagonist, Tim, doesn't really speak, we're told how he is feeling but he isn't given a voice. However he has plenty of action, from becoming a stowaway and having to work his passage, to becoming violently seasick and then discovering he has been abandoned by all but the captain to a rapidly sinking ship. It's thrilling stuff!

I defintitely have a soft spot for these books because of my own childhood (as you can guess, having purchased them so early on for Rosie, my dad loved them) and also because they feature the coastline of suffolk and little details that recall places I know - the last page of The Brave Sea Captain has the lifeboat men lined up with a flag that says 'Thorpeness Life Boat'. Slight digression here but Thorpeness is a lovely place with a fab boating lake themed around Peter Pan, I have many happy memories of water fights and frolics all over it!

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