Tim and Ginger ¦ Tim in Danger ¦ Tim to the Lighthouse ¦ Tim's Friend Towser ¦ Tim and Charlotte ¦ Tim All Alone
Digital version – browse, print or download
Receive the latest news & reviews direct to your inbox!
Tim in Danger
Tim to the Lighthouse
Although the most recent of these classic tales was published only 22 years ago, the books now convey an atmosphere redolent of the morning of children's literature. Here, depicted in prose of limpid simplicity, is a world in which small children can run away to sea, work their passage amongst rough but golden tars, then return to a radiant homecoming with everybody both wiser and happier than before.
The stories have the straightforward strength of folklore. In Tim and Ginger, our hero is forced to steal a boat in order to rescue his reckless pal, but the boys save each other's lives, and everybody except the boat owner ends up laughing. In Tim in Danger, Tim and Charlotte pursue Ginger who has run away to sea. They're pressed into service aboard a ship which eventually cripples a steamer in fog. Guess who Tim rescues from the foundering wreck? Tim to the Lighthouse is a tale of steadfast lighthousemen and villainous wreckers who cry 'Foiled again!' when the children thwart their dastardly conspiracy. Tim's Friend Towser tells of how secrecy over a stowaway pup almost sinks a ship. Tim's encounter with an orphan overboard in Tim and Charlotte explores boy-girl relationships with the bewitching innocence of a former age. Tim All Alone is a rhapsody on the heartstrings. Returning from sea, Tim discovers that his parents have abandoned the family home and disappered. Heartbroken, he sets off searching on an English Odyssey in which he befriends sundry salts of the earth and the sea before arriving home to a quietly glorious reunion. It is this last tale which best reveals the source of the power of these books: Ardizzone takes the pleasures and the plights of childhood imagining - escape, companionship in adversity, fear of isolation - and weaves them with respect and reassurance into fantasies that we've probably all lived through ourselves.
The books are beautifully presented, extremely dated and warmly recommended for both independent reading and sharing aloud.