Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain by Edward Ardizzone

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain is the first in the Tim series of books from the legendary artist and children's book creator, Edward Ardizzone. It's also a crackin' good adventure to borrow a British phrase!

I left this book on a table for E to discover on his own, and within minutes he was quietly turning the pages, fully engrossed in this adventure of a little boy, a brave captain and the high seas. It was a little bit of a test, I admit, because the drawings are a mix of incredible water colors and black and white drawings. He took to it immediately and demanded it be read again as soon as we'd finished it ... high praise!

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Tim is a little boy desperate to go to sea.  He manages to stow away on a steamer and after working for his passage becomes almost one of the crew. A fierce storm threatens his adventure after the steamer crashes into some rocks, but Tim and the captain are saved just in time. After some hot cocoa and a good night's sleep Tim returns home to his parents with his new friend, the brave captain, in tow.

First published in 1936, there are few facets to this adventure that might not get passed by the censors today (one of the things I like about it).  It was Tim's running away from home that confused E the most but we got around that with a little conversation.  I'm just waiting for him to ask what 'Davy Jones' locker' means any day now.

Our whole house loves this book and we'll devour the rest of the Tim series as soon as they're safely back on our local library's shelf.  Edward Ardizzone had an incredible life and career. He was the first ever winner of the Kate Greenaway medal and he was appointed Official War Artist in Britain in 1940.  He was a prolific author and illustrator and I found it fascinating to read about him.

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