Friday, February 28, 2014

Wind, Wrinkled Bottoms and the Old Man of Lochnaggar

I judge a good book by its author's ability not to take him/herself too seriously and by Maurice Sendak, he's done it. I'm talking of course of the children's picture book 'The Old Man of Lochnaggar', written by HRH the Prince of Wales.

It's said that he wrote the story to entertain his two younger brothers TRH the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex, so it was written way before I was born - and it was first published in 1980 and then later republished in 1990.

Though it was written decades ago, kids will find this as engaging and entertaining today as they did back then. The nameless old man of the story is a loner who embarks on adventures in each of the chapters of this charming book from the depths of the loch to high over Balmoral and the hills of Scotland. He encounters a host of incredible characters from lagopus Scoticus, a kind of Scottish King Neptune, to the gorms and their king; and a formidable old lady on a train.

Anyone who knows me knows that I've got a penchant for anything scatological - yes, I haven't grown up, but that's been long established- so some of the things that were nicely incorporated into the story were references to wind, wrinkled bottoms and the description of the old man's loo--HILARIOUS!!

I really enjoyed this book and the author really knows how to write a good children's picture book! And that is no easy task! A lot of people in the public eye -and a lot more private individuals - think they can write a good children's book, but a few actually accomplish that. The illustrations by Sir Hugh Casson are brilliant and are perfect for this story.

It's been 34 years since the last print of the book, and I think it would be fantastic if a special anniversary edition book was published, especially now that there's a new member of the family who will definitely enjoy it. A big thanks goes to HRH the Duchess of Cornwall for sending me a copy. It's brill. Thank you, Ma'am!

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