Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo?
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The anarchic hero of many daring adventures, William, as depicted on our cover by Thomas Henry in one of his effective, humorous pen and ink illustrations, is now a period piece. A William de nos jours illustrated by Tony Ross and aimed at a younger audience stands alongside him. This new William will be featured in adaptations of the stories by Martin Jarvis. Richmal Crompton, author of the William books, is the subject of this issue's Authorgraph. Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books for their help with this November cover.
Blue Kangaroo keeps getting left in unusual places by Lily in this second book about the pair, but is safely restored to her one way or another. At last he takes matters into his own paws and (rather too subtly for me) shows Lily that a pouch for her to carry him in might be a good idea. Chichester Clark's familiar palette of pinks, yellows and clear turquoisey blues is used - along with her trademark wide-brimmed hat. The scale is bigger than her usual one here - perhaps for the younger audience - thus much of her characteristic delicacy and quirkiness is lost. Faces in particular have suffered, though there are some beautifully-observed expressions and gestures, and many children will respond to this gently moral tale.