A touching story about a little boy who lives on his own with his working mother. Whenever he is naughty, his mother threatens him with Mrs Cole, who appears to be a disreputable character living nearby in total squalor. He imagines children being starved, whipped and even stewed. Then one day he runs away from home and despite his fears, finds himself outside Mrs Cole's house. She invites him in and he discovers that Mrs Cole's noisy, chaotic kindly house is welcoming and warm and her house becomes somewhere to go when he is good. ' An intriguing mix of realism and fantasy is the key element in one of the most outstanding young children's picture books for some time...with exceptional illustrations by Michael Foreman' - Financial Times
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(282mm x 245mm x 3mm)
Andersen Press Ltd
Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
Whenever a young black boy makes a mess, his mother threatens to take him to Mrs. Cole's ramshackle house. One day, disinclined to cio his chores, he runs away and ends up (after some trepidation) at the dreaded neighbor's - where he finds a cheery, red-checked matron in a Mick Jagger apron, a gaggle of friendly children, and a household nearly buried under clutter. He gets such a hearty welcome that thereafter his mother's threat has become a reward - "If you're good, you can go and play at Mrs. Cole's." Foreman darkens his frequently fiery colors to reflect the ominous drift of the boy's imaginings; for more fastidious readers, the reality may seem like a nightmare - and an unsanitary one, at that. This decidedly minor effort was originally published in Great Britain (and briefly available here in 1986); the language has been Americanized for those who can't figure out what a "telly" or a "pram" is. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Nigel Gray
Nigel Gray (Author) Nigel Gray was born in Northern Ireland and brought to England as a child. After leaving school he worked for eleven years in numerous unskilled jobs. He then went to the University of Lancaster as a mature student and was awarded a BA in English in 1974. In 1984 he was awarded an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. He has worked as an actor and taught Modern Literature Courses for the University of Liverpool, Lancaster and the WEA. He has taught Creative Writing at several universities and writing workshops in schools, colleges, libraries and prisons.Michael Foreman (Illustrator) Michael Foreman is one of the most talented and popular creators of children's books today. He has won the Kate Greenaway Medal twice and has been the UK nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award twice. His highly acclaimed books are published all over the world. He is married and has three sons. He divides his time between St Ives in Cornwall and London.