Saturday, November 08, 2008

Peter Pan in Scarlet

On Saturday 1st November, we were delighted to welcome children's author Geraldine McCaughrean to a very special afternoon storytime at Mostly Books. Geraldine is the author of Peter Pan in Scarlet, the authorised follow-up to Peter Pan. The book launched to much critical acclaim back in 2006, but in October the publisher OUP launched an illustrated version of the book for younger children: (If you don't know the story of Peter Pan, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and how Geraldine was chosen to write the official sequel, it's well worth finding out here) This is a very shrewd move. The original Peter Pan was never intended for very young children, but - thanks to Walt Disney - many 5 and 6 year olds know all about Peter, Wendy and the Lost Boys way before they might ordinarily have read the book. Geraldine took on the task of rewriting the book for younger readers, and David Wyatt (who did the cover illustration for her original book) has produced beautiful artwork for the illustrated edition. The book is utterly gorgeous (we're biased of course, but it is), and we were really thrilled to have Geraldine in the shop so soon after the book's launch. We were dealing with Peter Pan of course, so there needed to be a bit of magic. The shop was transformed into Neverland for the afternoon, the staff wore Scarlet, Geraldine herself was resplendent in a remarkable scarlet coat, and we encouraged all the children to come dressed as characters from Peter Pan. We had plenty of pirates and tinkerbells (and one Wendy):
Geraldine read several extracts from Peter Pan in Scarlet, as well as from several of her other books. Prizes were given for the best fancy dress, and all the children had treats to take home.
It was a really fun afternoon, and Geraldine was a complete superstar, posing for the oligatory 'picture with grinning bookshop owner' at the end. Geraldine is a storyteller of rare skill - in both writing and telling - and you really do need to take a look at this book, it really is magical...

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