The Wild Hunt of Hagworthy
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On the cover of this issue we feature a selection of illustrations from the Walker Books List. Can you identify the artists? (Answers below). We are grateful for the help from Walker Books in using this material.
1. Helen Oxenbury (First Picture Books).
2. Shirley Hughes (Nursery Collection).
3. John Burningham (First Words).
4. Patrick Benson (William Mayne's Hob Stories).
5. Kenneth Lilly (Large as Life).
6. Nicola Bayley (Copycats).
7. Philippe Dupasquier (Little Robert).
8. E. J. Taylor (Biscuits, Buttons and Pickles).
9. Jan Ormerod (Baby Books).
10. Colin McNaughton (Allan Ahlberg's Red Nose Readers).
11. Helen Craig (Susie and Alfred).
12. Peter Cross (David Lloyd's Dinosaur Days).
Titles are of the series, not individual books.
An ancient tradition, the horn dance, is revived by an enthusiastic village committee. Kester, the blacksmith's son is growing away from the locals as he succeeds at school. Along with the older villagers he is aware that the original hunt involved the pursuit and punishment of an odd one out. He is bitter and antagonistic. Lucy, visiting the village, is aware of his loneliness and becomes determined to break the secret of the hunt before too many are hurt. There is a sinister tension throughout the story. Penelope Lively uses the oppressive heat of an unusual summer to create a sense of tension and darkness. Nerves are constantly at snapping point and the compulsion to read on is positively eerie. Once again this author's characters are most aptly portrayed --- the horsey girls, the sour blacksmith, the vague and kindly aunt. A perfect story for intelligent and sensitive readers. For the upper middle school.