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When the Great Raven steals their Mother's precious brooch, the Twins, Henry and Henrietta, are blamed and told that, unless the brooch is returned, their Birthday Party in four days' time will be cancelled and that their four Animals, Curd the Lion, Pilgrim Crow, Sweeney the Heenie (a hyena), and O'Flattery the Snake, will be given away to the Charity Shop.Curd the Lion, who witnessed the theft, leads the Animals out that night, all the way to the Back of Beyond, to find the Great Raven and try to rescue the brooch.Meeting first that unfathomable inflatable, Professor Balloonafuss, creatures they encounter include 'His Majesty King Much of a Muchness', Nook and Cranny, Queen Mumbie-Bumbee and the Dodongs.By the time they enter Holywood, with its Minor-Bore, knightly Sir Rush and his Kalandar, their route has become so riddled with pitfalls and the talk of the beasts so twisted, the Animals can hardly tell whether they are coming or going.Reaching at last the Rocks of Brimstone and the out-jutting Corbie-stone, lair of the Great Raven, the Animals discover both friends and foes converging on this pivotal rock. A great battle ensues. The author has included the first three chapters of a second adventure, 'The Ineffable Emperor, or, Travels in the Land of Nod in the Great Sea of Slumber', as an invitation to readers to ask for more. No illustrations (though there will be of course, in the real book)
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The author and illustrator, Alan Gilliland, left The Daily Telegraph, where as graphics editor for 18 years he received 19 national and international awards for information graphics, to write, illustrate and publish his own books while working as an illustrator and information graphic artist for other publishers, architects and developers. His clients, past and present, include the Penguin Group, Osprey, the Ivy Group, Aurum among publishers; Kit Martin, adviser to Prince Charles on historic buildings (Stoneleigh Abbey, Burley-on-the-Hill, Great Yarmouth Naval Hospital), Norwich Theatre Royal renovation and extension, John McAslan and Partners (energy centre for the London Olympics).Starting out as a film - then architecture - student, he worked as a news photo-journalist for eight years before transferring to graphics and illustration.Review:
Lovereading4 kids review (7+, 9+, 11+) Dec 2009 made a Book of the Year, Debut of Year; top of their chart in the week before Christmas and Personal Choice of co-founder: This brilliant debut children's novel is completely unputdownable as well as being almost uncategorisable. The characters are wild and wacky and completely original. It's 174 pages of pure unadulterated pleasure and deserves to be huge. - this book will be loved by anyone from 7 to 107. AChris Bond, Yorkshire Post (extracts from full-page review/article, 7 Nov. 08): His wonderfully crafted debut will enchant children and amuse adults in equal measure. Improbable characters leap from the page amid a sea of riddles and rhymes as the tale unfolds and, like so many great works of children's literature, Gilliland wrote it for his own children. The whimsical story is beautifully illustrated by Gilliland's own pencil drawings, which hark back to a time when children's books weren't part of some huge merchandising drive.A" A" Emily Tout, aged 9, of Fareham, Hants: WOW!!! what a book. i couldn't wait to finish it! [and as i finished it in 24hrs you can see how desperate I was!!!] It had a surprise on each. The illustrations are fab and made the characters jump out of the pages. It is the best i've ever read and i've read - the whole of harry potter.A" Steve Craggs, Northern Echo (extracts from review, 21 Oct. 08***): There's a hint of Hobbit, a touch of Alice in Wonderland, an echo of Lear and even a nod in the direction of Terry Pratchett in this phantasmagorical fantasy quest which is an epic entertainment for both children and adults alike. Nonsensical and whimsical - and beautifully illustrated - this story is as delightful on the eye as it is dazzling in the imagination. Go with the flow and you're in a magical world in which impossible creatures leap from the pages, riddles have to be unravelled and a mighty battle looms ominously at the lair of the Great Raven.A" Lynne Rothwell aged 10: This is the best book I have ever read and I have been inspired to do a book similar (not the same).A" Emily Sanders, Dorset: The Amazing Adventures of Curd the Lion and us is fab. I can't wait to read the story of The Ineffable Emperor. I read the book in about three hours! It is really tricky to put the book down and I can't wait to read it again and again and again. I absolutely loved it. I don't know of another author that can do really great stories and illustrate their story in such a fantastic way. GET THE BOOK, IT'S GREAT!!!A" Andrew Ffrench, Oxford Mail (extracts from full-page review/article, 5Dec): Gilliland's tale, of a bunch of soft toys that go on a fantastic journey to recover a precious brooch nabbed by a raven, is pitched just right for children of a certain age who are bound to ask: "Do they get the brooch back?" In the wrong hands, a story about a bunch of soft toys going on a great adventure could be sickly sweet, but Gilliland succeeds in making his story funny and mysterious. (He) has produced such a distinctive story, both in terms of presentation, and imaginative reach, that I feel convinced he has a hit on his hands.A" Juliette Stuart, 11: I loved your Book about Curd the Lion so much! As soon as I got home I read it and I didn't stop until I had finished. I think I read it in about 4 hours flat! Please do the second book quickly. I can't wait until the second book comes out.A" Professor John Gray, philosopher & author of 'Straw Dogs' and 'Black Mass': Alan Gilliland's Curd stories are the best thing that have happened to children's literature since Alice went through the looking-glass. I was particularly taken by the Labyrinth chapter. The whole book seemed to me delightful - in the magical tradition of George Macdonald, but with an extra dimension of nonsense and wit of its own. Gilliland's mix of upside-down logic and serious whimsy is nonsense of the highest calibre.A" (letter to author) Penny. I thought, well, it was the best book I had ever read! The minorbore was very funny: he looked extremely funny without his helmet on! I liked the way he tried to axe Sweeny and O'Flattery. And Curd was always puzzled!A" John Cohen, Editor, Reading Time (journal of Children's Book Council of Australia, Feb. 09, extracts from review): This is an extraordinary book from a former graphics editor of The Telegraph, UK. What Gilliland has done is to lift what might have been another toy story onto a literary gold plate. His ability to play on words as well as to keep the story moving is a rare skill. The result is that the story can be enjoyed as a simple adventure as well as for its tongue-in-cheek word repartee that is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear.A" Alannah Lewis, aged 11: I do find it almost impossible to put down. I have read Alice in wonderland and it's sequel Alice through the Looking Glass and I thought that was the highest calibre of nonsense but Curd the lion has just taken it up a whole new level.A" Tony Benn has written: a lovely story book with super illustrations for children of all ages.A" George Oliver, aged 11: I'm so glad Mr Gilliland that you asked me to take a look at your first book of the amazing adventures of curd the lion and us in the waterstones store in oxford i look forward to reading the ineffable emperor i also look forward to maybe seeing you again and also I thank you for signing my book and giving me a wonderful insight of your fantastic inspiring mind of wonders and your art work is astonishing.A" Steven Ryan, adult, Fareham: "I have been an avid reader of Terry Pratchett for many years and find it difficult to pick up books from other authors because few seem to combine imagination with wit and ingenious wordplay. I have to say, humble pie has never tasted so good. I bought a copy of the book mainly, I have to say, at first for the artwork, but when I got home and read the first few pages I couldn't put the book down. The story is compelling, as good and in places better than any Pratchett book. I loved this book and can't wait for the second. You've opened my mind to a new realm." Alex Keeley, aged 8: Hi! I haven't finished yet but I can't wait to find out what happens in the end. I can't wait until you publish the next book. My favourite character is Curd the lion because he thinks that he's so brave when he's not really. Thanks for writing this book.A" Nathan Hutchinson, Bordon, Hants: It is great. I love the names "Sweeney the Heenie" "O'Flattery" and "Pilgrim Crow" there so good! Here's one of my drawings of a Minobour!A" Henry Alden (Burpham, Guildford): I am writing to you because I love your book. It was brilliant. I hope you make more books soon.A" Elizabeth (adult): I bought 2 copies of the book as a present - but read it first and really enjoyed it - can recommend it for young and old!A" Ethan: I was just going to buy the second book in a series I have been reading and bumped into him on the second floor. He told me about the book and I decided to buy it as well as the other book. A few days later, I have lost interest in the book I actually went in for, and have finally finished Curd the lion. This witty tale was very confusing to me at first but I settled down to it as I read more. This is a great book. I am very happy to have a signed copy of this book, thank you. Star rating /5 = *****- Excellent!A"
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Book Description Shabby Tattler Press, West Sussex, 2008. Hard Cover. Condition: NEW. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. Brand new hardback. rrp £14.99. Pictorial story with black and white illustrations. 'When the Great Raven steals their Mother's precious brooch, the Twins, Henry and Henrietta, are blamed and told that unless the brooch is returned they will lose not only their birthday party in four days time, but also their four Animals, Curd the Lion, Pilgrim Crow, Sweeney the Heenie (a hyena), and O'Flattery the Snake to the Charity Shop. Curd the Lion, who witnessed the theft, leads the Animals out that night to find the Great Raven and rescue the brooch, travelling all the way to the Back of Beyond.' The dust jacket is protected in a loose archival film sleeve (does not adhere to the book or jacket in any way). Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Seller Inventory # 045505
Book Description Raven's Quill Ltd, 2008. Condition: New. Alan Gilliland (illustrator). book. Seller Inventory # M0955548616
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0955548616
Book Description Raven's Quill Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: Brand New. 176 pages. In Stock. Seller Inventory # zk0955548616
Book Description Raven's Quill Ltd, 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. 1st ed.. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0955548616n