12 May 2008

John Patrick Norman McHennessy--not a moment too soon

Hurrah! My prayers have been answered! A Random House Summer Catalog was in my inbox this morning, and on page two was the announcement and brand new ISBN number for a reissued edition of John Burningham's outstanding John Patrick Norman McHennessy--the boy who was always late. This has been on my "Lost Treasures" list since the early days of this blog. I take no credit for it's reissue, only immense pleasure that someone in a position to bring it back did so.

I hope it has been left as originally published and not revised to meet modern day sensibilities. I'm thinking of the bit where the disbelieving teacher threatens to thrash JPNM for telling lies. Children today need not fear corporal punishment, and I suspect that when the book was originally written in 1987 there really wasn't much danger of it then either. But you never know how far the bubble-wrapping of children will go. The revising of books is an ongoing controversy in Children's Literature, from Tintin in the Congo to whether or not editions of Good Night Moon should feature a picture of illustrator Clement Hurd holding a cigarette.

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