Books by William Plomer

THE BUTTERFLY BALL AND THE GRASSHOPPER’S FEAST by William Plomer
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2009

Originally published in 1973 and sumptuously repackaged, this new edition preserves the old one's verbal and visual extravagance while adding small vignettes to the revised "Nature Notes," plus a closing essay on Aldridge's career. Inspired by an 1807 poem about a grand party of (British) woodland creatures, Aldridge and airbrush artist Harry Willcock created the art first—crafting scenes of accurately rendered mice, insects and other animals dressing up in wildly fanciful historical costume to frolic beneath a broad oak. The pictures are brighter than before and still worth poring over for their riotous arrays of fine detail, visual jokes and general stage business. The rhymed text, a much expanded version of its 19th-century predecessor, is just as elegant and close to Nature as the art: "The most wonderful tune in the world / (All other claims are false) / Is Simon Centipede's masterpiece, / The Lepidoptera Waltz." Though adults are still likely to remain the largest audience, younger fans of Kurt Cyrus's Oddhopper Opera (2001) and like direct descendants will respond. (Picture book/poetry. 8-10, adult) Read full book review >