Swallows and Amazons
Oh, how I love you. You really are such jolly good books, with your canvas and wood and potted meat and fresh-from-the-udder milk and hullaballoos and treachery. It's the 1930s, but girls have power right alongside boys and no one thinks at any moment, "We're just pretending; it's not real," because it is real, and they--all of them--know it. There are consequences and near disasters, yet everyone sleeps well at night, knowing that they're not duffers, knowing that they could survive on open seas. And the covers! Look at the undulating waves. Look at the black and white simplicity of the flags. Look at the glorious horizon. (Not to mention the jaunty little penguin, who has gone the way of the dodo.) And then there is Winter Holiday, with the sleek, hand-drawn figures gliding across the ice and the crowd not cheering, but signalling. They know what they mean, all the way down to Roger, the youngest. They signify and it is something.
Labels: swallows and amazons