Philip Ardagh

I’ve been having fun with Philip Ardagh recently. And that’s without meeting him in person. For a while I had sort of assumed he was funny, but that maybe he’s more of a little boy’s author. I’m definitely not a little boy. But now I’ll call him a bookwitch sort of author too.

I started at the wrong end. Liking well organised reading I would normally have started reading the first book about Eddie Dickens. On the advice of someone who hadn’t got a clue I started with the sixth and last book instead. Didn’t matter in the least. I think. I didn’t understand much of what happened, but had such a lot of fun while not understanding, that I think it’s fine.

The way Philip treats the English language is marvellous. If he gets little boys reading his books, then I have great belief in the future. (I have a galvanised bucket in my house. It will never be the same after I read Final Curtain.) And don’t get me started on Mad Uncle Jack and Even Madder Aunt Maud. MUJ and EMAM.

If I hadn’t had date with Philip later this month (he doesn’t know that yet) the cover illustrations alone would have kept me from starting on his books. They have most definitely not been designed with middle aged women in mind. I’ve said this before, and I suppose soon I’ll have learnt not to judge a book entirely by its front cover. Perhaps.

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