Uan the Little Lamb
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This issue’s cover shows Neil Gaiman (photo © Kelli Bickman) with his book The Comical Tragedy or Tragical Comedy of Mr Punch illustrated by Dave McKean. Neil Gaiman is interviewed by Nicholas Tucker. Thanks to Bloomsbury for their help with this November cover.
This is a delight of a book to share with the very young – a simple story, charmingly told. Two children who live on a remote Hebridean island find an abandoned lamb one stormy spring day. They take it home, dry it, feed it and care for it:
‘Then we put her in a box so she could be warm and comfortable.
“We’re going to call you Uan,” we told her, which means “lamb” in our language.’
Soon Uan wants to follow them everywhere – ‘Even to school!’ Naturally, the day comes when the lamb is big enough to go out into the field and play with other lambs and it’s not long before Uan has grown into a sheep that goes to graze further and further away with all the other sheep. But she still comes running to the children when they call her name and then one spring day, she has her own little lamb.
The size and feel of this book are perfectly suited to the text and pictures, which are wonderfully matched. The illustrations (simply executed in line and wash) are particularly successful in capturing the feelings of both the children and the animals in the story. I really like the layout – the positioning of text and pictures with ample clear space around them to do them justice. UC