19 November 2009

The Young Visiters

Blogging is very fascinating to me. I follow about 20 blogs and I am always pleasantly surprised when they post about an item that is on my mind or on my bookshelf. For several week now, I have had my copy of Daisy Ashford's The Young Visiters on my desk. This week, The Persephone Post, posted about Ashford's book. It was one of the books they had wanted to re-publish, but a reprint already existed. Daisy Ashford wrote this novel in pencil when she was nine-years-old.

Young Daisy loved to talk to adults and read Victorian novels and both are evident in her slim novel. In 1952, an edition was published with an introduction by J. M. Barrie and the drawings of William Pène du Bois.

Pène du Bois was born in Nutley, New Jersey. At eight his family moved to France, only to return to Nutley when he was fourteen. At nineteen, he sold his first book, The Great Geppy. He abandoned college to continue his career as a writer and illustrator. Thought of as a children's writer, his books are wildly imaginative. The Great Geppy is a striped horse -- NOT a zebra, but a striped horse who solves crimes at a circus. My favorite, Squirrel Hotel, is about a squirrel hotel, elaborately appointed with doll furniture, electric lights and a circular staircase. When the builder disappears, a reporter looks for him by tracing his purchases for the hotel, including 48 four-poster canopied doll beds.

In 2003, a quirky adaptation of The Young Visiters was filmed starring Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy. It is well worth adding to your Netfilix queue.

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